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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Audio chat app Clubhouse celebrated its one-year anniversary last week despite still requiring an invite to use — and yet, a cottage industry of tools and self-proclaimed experts, has sprung up.

Why it matters: Audio has seen a boom during the pandemic, with people stuck at home amid mass adoption of wireless headphones and smart devices.

The big picture: With the app still in its testing phase, the company has taken its time to add features and make changes, sometimes at a pace too slow for users when it comes to safety or reliability.

Yes, but: That hasn't stopped third parties from tapping into the frenzy and building a growing number of tools for Clubhouse users:

  • Summaries and notes: Since Clubhouse is live audio and conversations can sometimes go on for hours, some like Host Notes are providing ways to generate notes.
  • Analytics: With a growing number of entrepreneurs and companies looking to use Clubhouse as a marketing vehicle, analytics tools like Direcon could become popular.
  • Chat: While Clubhouse users on a room’s “stage” can speak, those in the audience cannot. Enter apps for chat and group forums like Spore and Brightful.
  • Monetizing: While users wait for the company to roll out ways of generating revenue for conversation hosts, companies like sponsorship marketplace Clubmarket are looking to fill that gap.
  • Marketing: Customizing one’s profile and conversation invites has become an art, and tools like Twiso and Comet aim to make it easier.
  • Books: Even books about mastering the app are showing up on Amazon in record speed.

Not surprisingly, there are marketplaces for coveted invites to the app, often asking users to pass on the favor once they get their own.

Between the lines: It’s possible some, or many, of these tools become obsolete if Clubhouse builds out its own versions of such features or makes it harder for them to operate.

The bottom line: There's no clearer sign of an app's popularity than the emergence of apps for it.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump in talks with upstart apps about new social network

Donald Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump has been in talks with no-name app vendors as he contemplates partnering with an existing platform to create his own social media network, according to sources familiar with the private discussions.

Driving the news: Among the social networking apps the former president and his digital adviser Dan Scavino have homed in on is a relatively unknown platform called FreeSpace, these sources told Axios.

Updated 59 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.