Oman blocks audio chat app Clubhouse
Dubai, March 15 (IANS) Oman has blocked invite-only audio chat app Clubhouse owing to a lack of proper authorisation from the local authorities, the media reported.
According to news site WAF, Omani Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) confirmed on Sunday that it has blocking the audio chat platform.
The authority said that such communication applications must “obtain a permit from the Authority,” and the application has been discontinued because it is not locally licensed yet.
People in the country took to Twitter with hashtag ‘Oman blocks Clubhouse’ that went viral.
“Most of the posts reflected dissatisfaction with the step and described it as inconsistent with the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman,” the report mentioned.
In March last year TRA allowed some applications such as Skype, Google Meet and Zoom, to facilitate work amid stay-at-home orders.
The app is currently available on Apple App Store and has been downloaded more than 8 million times.
Its Android version is set to arrive soon as the company is working on it.
Clubhouse’s user base has grown more than four times since December 2020, according to data from research firm App Annie.
The app garnered popularity quickly after it hosted personalities like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In its latest blog, Clubhouse said “we are thrilled to begin work on our Android app soon, and to add more accessibility and localisation features so that people all over the world can experience Clubhouse in a way that feels native to them”.