Downloads of buzzy audio chat app Clubhouse are continuing to nosedive among iPhone users, but its recent launch on Android phones has brought a surge of millions of new users to the service.
Clubhouse, which allows users to engage in live, freeform audio conversations, became immensely popular over the pandemic as homebound users logged on to chat and listen to everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Mark Zuckerberg. But in recent months the service has faltered, with its downloads on iOS dropping precipitously.
In May, Clubhouse downloads on the iOS platform totalled 719,000 worldwide, down from 922,000 downloads in April, according to estimates by data firm Sensor Tower shared with Insider. That's less than 10% of Clubhouse's peak of 9.6 million global downloads in February.
The long-awaited introduction of Clubhouse's Android app in May however, roughly 14 months after the iOS version's launch, has opened the door to a much-needed flood of new users. The app saw roughly 3 million downloads on Android in May, Sensor Tower estimates.
The fledgling, invitation-only app has reportedly raised hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and fetched a $4 billion valuation from private investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global, and DST. But the app's early success has also attracted a wave of initiators, with established tech powers like Facebook, Twitter and Slack all launching rival live audio services in recent months.
The increased competition and the post-pandemic reopenings will put pressure on Clubhouse to differentiate itself and prove that it has staying power. The app could also spark new growth by lifting the requirement for users to by invited to the service by a friend.
Clubhouse launched its Android app in early May, and it didn't gain sufficient popularity to chart on Google Play's ranking of top apps in the US until May 21. It peaked at position 84 on May 24 — a lower number indicates higher downloads that day — and since then has gone into decline.
Meanwhile, Clubhouse is sitting at around rank 620 in Apple's free US app rankings, a drop from highs in the teens in late December 2020.
Clubhouse did not immediately respond to a request for comment.