Clubhouse starts beta testing its Android app in the US

The rest of the world will be able to access the beta Android app in the coming weeks.

Drazen Zigic via Getty Images

Clubhouse is no longer an iOS exclusive: The company has started rolling out a beta version of its invite-only audio chat app to Android users. Only folks in the US will be able to install it on their Android device right now, but the app is making its way to other English-speaking markets and then the rest of the world in the coming days and weeks.

The service popularized audio conversations over the past year, with each room having its own speakers, listeners and moderators who can dole out speaking privileges. It's a great platform for those who want to host live voice-only shows with a group of listeners — in fact, famous personalities like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg previously made appearances as speakers in the app.

Even ordinary people can create rooms others can join, though, and an audio-only space could sound appealing to those sick of having to attend multiple video meetings or classes a day. Clubhouse became so popular since its launch that a number of other tech companies are now in the midst of creating their own audio chat apps and features. Twitter expanded access to Spaces earlier this month, allowing users with 600 followers or more to host their own rooms. Facebook is developing an audio chat experience that could end up a Messenger feature. Spotify recently announced plans for a "live audio experience," while Reddit launched audio rooms for Q&As, AMAs and more.

While it's clearly time for Clubhouse to expand its availability in the midst of growing competition, it wants to keep its growth measured and will retain its invitation system. In other words, to be able to access it right now, one will first need to get an invite from a current user. That said, the company promised to start giving the millions of iOS users who've been waitlisted access to the app this summer. As for Android device owners outside the US, they can sign up to get a notification when the app comes out in their country through the Clubhouse page in Google Play.