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NEW DELHI: Clubhouse will now allow users to send direct messages to each other inside the app. The company announced the features, called Backchannel, today on both Android and iOS. The feature only allows text messages right now but it will support both one-on-one and group chats. Users will also be able to send links to each other, though rich text features like GIFs, images aren’t supported.

The company also hasn’t clarified whether chats on the platform will be encrypted, and its support page says that messages can’t be deleted, at least for now. The platform will, however, separate messages from those who you don’t follow into a separate “requests" tab, similar to the way direct messages work on Twitter.

“Messages from people you don't follow go to your Requests inbox. To see these messages, go to the Backchannel and tap on Requests at the bottom of the screen. From there, you can tap in to see the content, or not open them if you'd like," the company said on its website.

Backchannel is a feature that many users have been asking for on Clubhouse for a while. While the platform allows users to network, ways to actually reach a person you spoke to in a room are limited. Most users ask others to connect with them via the linked Instagram and Twitter accounts. By offering a feature like Backchannel, Clubhouse can also keep users inside its own app.

Further, the feature can also be useful while speaking or listening in a room. “If you’re a speaker, you can use Backchannel to chat with your co-hosts, plan what question to ask next, or decide who to pull up from the audience. If you’re a listener, you can chat with your other friends in the audience any time you’re in a room. Just tap the airplane icon—or swipe left—to access the chat thread," the company said in a blog post.

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