The Clubhouse is back, sort of. The app that popularized social audio rooms is reinventing itself “to look more like a messaging app” with new voice-only group chats called “chats”, as detailed in a company blog post.
Think of a chat as something like a group story on Instagram that you contribute to with your voice. You start a chat by recording a voice message, then you can send that chat to your friends. They can then jump in and add their own voice recordings to create a sort of collage/voice chat.
The application has been completely redesigned around these new cats. When I opened the newly updated app, it prompted me to start a new chat and share it. Chats are also what I see first in the app’s new home tab, and if I had any friends who were using Clubhouse, it looks like their chats would show up in the home tab as well.
Clubhouse has seen a massive decline in popularity since the early days of the covid pandemic, especially since the social network formerly known as Twitter launched its own Spaces social audio rooms. Spaces continue to be a key part of Elon Musk’s X, but Clubhouse now apparently sees more opportunity in encouraging people to have voice chats with their friends rather than live streaming to a wide audience. audience.
You can still create the kind of live social audio rooms that made Clubhouse a hit, but the functionality was a bit buried for me. From the home screen, I had to tap the microphone button and then drag it to a “tap to go live” option to start a room. Clubhouse says the concert halls “will continue to be a central part of the Clubhouse.”
The revised app is now available on iOS and Android. You can read more details about all the changes to the app, including some features that have been removed, in this article on the Clubhouse website.