Social audio app Clubhouse on Wednesday said it is rolling out its first wave of local language support for Android phone users with 13 new languages, including Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu.
The platform, which has seen strong growth momentum in the Indian market, will also roll out a replay feature for users soon that will allow users to listen to the conversations from the room once it ends.
Aarthi Ramamurthy, head of international at Clubhouse, said local language was a highly requested feature. "We've talked to so many of our users in India over the past few months and this is one of the things that always is pretty much on top of the list. This is just the beginning. India is a country of hundreds of languages. We are starting with these five and we are going to keep adding more and more language support," she said at a press conference on Wednesday. Clubhouse will be adding support for iOS and additional languages soon, she added.
Ramamurthy said local language support will be available for features like prompts, notifications and descriptions. Apart from that, onboarding, the process when a user joins the app, can also happen in these 13 languages, a PTI report explains. Many of the features will be easier to understand, including things such as community guidelines and other resources that are made available to users in the app, Ramamurthy explained.
The other languages include French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian) and Spanish. Ramamurthy said while Clubhouse does not break down country-specific user numbers, India was a "large market" for the platform and "strategically very important". Earlier this year, the app also crossed the 10-million download mark globally.
Clubhouse, which competes with Twitter's Spaces and Spotify Greenroom, has seen huge growth with the number of rooms created in a day going from 3,00,000 earlier this year to 7,00,000 now. The average time spent by listeners in a day on the app is also at more than 70 minutes, the PTI report explains.
“We want to make sure that both creators and listeners are finding value and building communities on the platform,” Ramamurthy said. “Conversations that are lightweight and entertaining like Bollywood rooms or cricket rooms and serious conversations like culture and politics, there is a huge diversity of conversations in India (on Clubhouse), and we are really excited to continue to invest in that."
Clubhouse co-founder Paul Davison said the company wants people to be able to experience Clubhouse "in a way that feels native to them". "This (new rollout) is going to make Clubhouse feel more native, easier to navigate, more accessible to billions more people around the world...people who might have been a little hesitant to use Clubhouse because they don't speak English," he added.
Davison said “Replay”, which is “launching very soon”, will provide creators the option to enable replays for a room that they are starting. If replays are enabled, then anyone will be able to listen to that room on Clubhouse after it has ended.
“So if they missed it live, they can search for it using the universal search feature,” Davison explains. “As the creator of the room, you can also download the full episode and do whatever you want with it… it's your content. You can create a podcast out of it, you could upload it,” he added.
Clubhouse co-founder Rohan Seth said 'Replay' is going to allow creators to build a consistent presence on Clubhouse, while also helping the platform to grow: "The next wave of growth will come through things like localisation. Take a place like India, where you have hundreds of different languages spoken, it's critical that we localise it (Clubhouse), so people can experience it in a way that feels native to them," he added.
(With inputs from PTI)