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Audio social media app Clubhouse takes off in S. Korea

It 15:10 February 23, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) -- Clubhouse, an audio social media app that has generated buzz worldwide, has been gaining popularity in South Korea as popular celebrity users, from K-pop artists to politicians, join the invitation-only platform.

The iPhone social media app, in which users enter rooms to chat with one another by voice, reached 195,000 downloads in South Korea as of Feb. 16, according to mobile analytics company App Annie on Tuesday.

This captured image from Clubhouse's Twitter page shows its logo. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)(Yonhap)

While the app, developed by U.S.-based startup Alpha Exploration Co., ranked at 921st place among local iOS app downloads as of the end of last month, it topped the list in just 10 days.

The audio social media app has received a boost in South Korea in recent weeks as it has drawn celebrity users from rapper Simon Dominic to Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun to Hyundai Card CEO Chung Tae-young.

Users can join conversations held by celebrities in real-time, although the rooms are divided between speakers and listeners. The latter can be given an opportunity to speak by the moderator.

Users fishing for invites have taken to online forums and market places, such as Karrot, with some invites being sold for as much as 19,000 won (US$17).

Globally, Clubhouse has racked up 8.1 million downloads since its launch in April last year.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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