The Airchat logo surrounded by positive headlines from online publications.

There’s a new app in town, according to Wired and Bloomberg, if you consider Silicon Valley a town. A by-invitation-only audio-based app called Airchat is reportedly being “hyped in tech circles,” with invites making the rounds among the Valley’s top brass.

The app combines elements of X (formerly Twitter) and voice notes, with a main feed populated by text transcripts of voice notes from other users, which you can play, heart, or repost.

The “hype” for AirChat has been magnified by reports from Business Insider and a contributor at Forbes, who declared that you’d have to have been “under a rock” to have avoided an invite to the app. And it’s no coincidence that Airchat cofounders Naval Ravikant (co-creator of AngelList) and Brian Norgard (former chief product officer at Tinder) are tech insiders themselves, or that investors include the likes of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who “threw in a check, kind of blindly,” according to Ravikant.

But the numbers may tell a different story. Both Bloomberg and Business Insider cite data from Sensor Tower that claims Airchat has been downloaded just over 45,000 times since launching in mid-2023, with 30,000 of those downloads occurring only after a relaunch this month. That lackluster showing could be chalked up to the app’s current exclusivity, but Airchat is also losing steam fast. Bloomberg reported that the app was ranked no. 29 in the App Store’s ranking of top social networking apps just yesterday. As of publishing today, the app has fallen to no. 42.

If the term “social audio app” rings a bell, you may be remembering Clubhouse, which shot to fame in 2020 and 2021 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and was valued at $4 billion. But Clubhouse gained popularity at a lonely time, when most people were sheltering inside and desperate for human interaction, and last year, the app laid off half of its staff.

Perhaps Airchat can do what Clubhouse could not. For now, it seems like just another place tech execs can hear themselves talk.