US social audio app Clubhouse launched a feature on Thursday to let users virtually wave at friends inside its audio-only chat app to show they are open to a private chat, in a move to expand beyond public rooms that can have thousands of listeners.
Clubhouse, which pioneered the "social audio" feature that has since been copied by Facebook and Twitter, wants to enable users to have private chats, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Paul Davison told Reuters.
"A lot of people know us for bigger conversations, but the reason people stay so long is they're finding their friends and meeting new people," he said in an interview.
Users of Clubhouse, which is backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, can "wave" at friends online in the app and a private audio chat room will open when a person accepts the wave. The user can then invite more contacts into the private room, or choose to open the chat to the public, Clubhouse said.
Here's what Clubhouse said in its blog post on September 24:
To send a Wave, swipe right on the Hallway or tap the dots icon at the bottom left of the screen. Then tape the wave button next to the person you'd like to chat with. They'll get a notification that you said hello, and know that you're open to chatting. If they are too, they can join a private room with you — open just to the people you waved at. You can keep it to one social circle, introduce friends from different groups to each other, or open the room up more broadly and make it for everyone.
The best part is you can Wave at as many friends as you like, and you can do other things while you're waiting for them to respond. Explore the hallways, find more friends to wave at, or jump into some rooms! The tiny Wave bar will come along with you, in case you decide you can't talk anymore and need to cancel your waves. And if you background the app, we'll pause your waves so you don't get pulled into a room without realizing it.
Wave is available today on both Android and iOS, and is open to everyone in the Clubhouse community.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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