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Clubhouse for android to arrive in India this Friday

It is a critical expansion move given the rising competition

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KOLKATA: Android users in India can finally come out of Clubhouse FOMO as the invite-only audio chat is debuting on Friday, after a week it launched the beta version in the US.

As the start-up’s android expansion continues, it will roll out in Japan, Brazil, Russia on Tuesday, followed by India and Nigeria on Friday. However, it will remain invite-only both on android and iOS despite the mass rollout. “Globe with meridians Rest of world throughout the week, and available worldwide by Friday afternoon,” the tweet added.

While it has taken its home market by storm with top Silicon-valley execs, popular Hollywood stars, artists jumping on the bandwagon, its impact in India is still very limited with less than a lakh iOS users. This move could be critical in the Indian expansion as the market has a lion's share of android users, despite the increasing footprint of iPhones in India.

The development comes at a time when the download numbers have plateaued. Globally its downloads peaked in February with 9.6 million downloads. However, it has gradually come down to 9 lakh downloads in April, as per Sensor Tower data.

The app saw 42,000 in February followed by 20,000 in March and 14,000 downloads in April in India – a gradual decline.

In a tweet, the company said it is working on feature parity with iOS for android users. Earlier this year, the app revealed its plans to launch in India. Clubhouse is now facing stiff competition in the category as Twitter has rolled out its Spaces on a larger scale, Facebook is also working on a live audio chat feature.

Adoption, penetration can be of a lesser challenge for the audio-based social apps compared to acceptance and usage which will be driven by content on the platforms, a senior digital market executive said earlier.

“The good thing about this period is that it has shown us how universal voice is as a medium. The same types of rooms that we saw forming last year in the U.S. quickly started forming in Japan, Brazil, and Nigeria. Farmers in rural Georgia have been making friends with entrepreneurs in Tanzania. Film clubs have formed in India,” the company stated in a recent blog post along with examples of many other communities.

Throughout this period, it felt the need to be cross-platform more strongly than ever, the company added.

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