Clubhouse launches “Wave” feature for private chats

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The American social audio app Clubhouse on Thursday launched a feature that allows users to virtually greet friends in its audio chat app only to show they are open to private chat, with the aim of expanding beyond public rooms that can accommodate thousands of listeners.

Clubhouse, which pioneered the “social audio” feature that has since been copied by Facebook and Twitter, wants to allow users to have private chats, co-founder and chief executive Paul Davison told Reuters.

“A lot of people know us for more important conversations, but the reason people stay so long is to find their friends and meet new people,” he said in an interview.

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Users of Clubhouse, which is backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, can ‘wave’ friends online in the app, and a private audio chat room will open when someone accepts the wave. The user can then invite more contacts to the private room, or choose to open the chat to the public, Clubhouse said.

Here’s what Clubhouse said in their blog post on September 24:

To send a wave, swipe right on the lane or tap the dots icon at the bottom left of the screen. Then, tape the wave button next to the person you want to chat with. They’ll receive a notification that you’ve said hello to them and know you’re open for discussion. If they are too, they can join a private room with you – open only to people you’ve signed up to. You can keep it in a social circle, introduce friends from different groups to each other, or open up the room more widely and make it accessible to everyone.

The best part is that you can wave as many friends as you want, and you can do other things while you wait for them to respond. Explore the hallways, find more friends to wave to, or jump around certain rooms! The little wave bar will go with you, in case you decide you can’t talk anymore and need to cancel your waves. And if you put the app in the background, we’ll pause your waves so you don’t get dragged into a room without realizing it.

Wave is available today on Android and iOS, and is open to all members of the Clubhouse community.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss the iPhone 13, the new iPad and iPad mini, and the Apple Watch Series 7 – and what they mean for the Indian market. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and anywhere you get your podcasts.

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