Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Screen shot from Clubhouse website

Recent appearances from Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk on Clubhouse are bringing attention to the venture-backed audio social network, which has also seen a boost in downloads over the past few weeks.

Yes, but: The app is already beginning to face the same growing pains that other upstart social networks have experienced for years. For example, Clubhouse — which requires an invite to access — is reportedly already being blocked in China.

By the numbers: Clubhouse has been downloaded about 4.7 million times to date since launch, according to Apptopia.

  • It's been growing a lot faster in the past 90 days, the firm says. It hit 1 million downloads at the end of last year, per Apptopia. For now, it's only available on iOS.

Catch up quick: The app has been available in the App Store since September, after months of quiet testing among tech insiders, though access still requires an invite.

  • The company recently raised around $100 million in Series B funding led by existing investor Andreessen Horowitz at a $1 billion post-money valuation.

Between the lines: Like any app for social interactions, Clubhouse has already raised questions about the dynamics among its users.

  • While users from a slew of industries and communities, including many celebrities, have since joined the app, there were early concerns that it was too exclusive to Silicon Valley's best-connected and homogeneous insiders, mirroring trends in the tech industry at large.
  • Since then, Black users and influencers especially have steadily joined the app, though some are still wary of the company's intentions in courting them.
  • And with the growing number of high-profile tech and business leaders joining the app, some are criticizing the ability for prominent figures to cordon off unwanted listeners, such as journalists and other critics, by blocking them on the app.
  • The company said last month it plans to compensate some users who create and lead conversations while it also experiments with revenue models.

The big picture: A slew of apps centered around audio are booming, as audio messaging becomes a bigger part of social media and work amid the pandemic.

  • Billionaire investor Mark Cuban is co-founding a podcast app "where hosts can talk to fans live and monetize their conversations," per The Verge.
  • Twitter last year started testing "Spaces," a feature similar to Clubhouse's setup.
  • Wavve, Riffr, Spoon and other other audio-first social apps have also started to pop, Wired notes.

Be smart: The ubiquity of AirPods and other hands-free smart devices — especially while many people remain isolated and largely indoors during the pandemic — have made audio-first companies more attractive to venture capital.

Go deeper

Feb 8, 2021 - Podcasts

Katie Stanton on the rise of Clubhouse

Clubhouse has become social media's newest darling, eschewing text and visuals for an audio-only experience whereby users can hear discussions on a multitude of topics, plus even the occasional 40-person Broadway musical performance.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Clubhouse is, why it matters and where social media goes from here, with Katie Stanton, an early Clubhouse investor whose resume includes time at Twitter, Google and the Obama White House.

Feb 9, 2021 - Technology

Reddit raises $250 million at $6 billion valuation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Reddit said Monday that it raised more than $250 million in Series E funding from existing and new investors. Sources say the company raised the new funding at a $6 billion pre-money valuation.

Why it matters: The company has doubled its valuation since its last funding round of $300 million at a $3 billion valuation in 2019.

1 hour ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!