Unless you are living under a rock, you have surely heard of Clubhouse – the invite-only audio social networking iOS app that has gained a tremendous amount of buzz in the past couple of months.
Well, now that there’s a new kid on the social media block, turns out Zuckerberg is not too happy about it. Two sources in the know recently revealed that Facebook is building a rival audio chat product to rival the Clubhouse.
The people who requested their identities be kept anonymous for obvious reasons mentioned that executives of the social media behemoth have been ordered to create a similar product to compete with the now trending audio-only iOS app.
They also said that the product development of the Clubhouse clone is still in the early stages and Facebook hasn’t yet fixed the project code name yet.
When reached out to confirm the same, Emilie Haskell, a Facebook spokeswoman said – “We’ve been connecting people through audio and video technologies for many years and are always exploring new ways to improve that experience for people.”
Clone & Conquer: Facebook’s Time-Tested Strategy
Now, the fact that Facebook might be trying to sabotage the newly minted competition in the social media pace by trying to clone it doesn’t come as a surprise. The social media major has a well-documented history of copying their competitors to crush them.
For instance, back in 2016, Facebook-owned Instagram copied one of the primary features of rival Snapchat – Stories, something which has now been integrated with the primary Facebook app as well.
In 2020, Instagram debuted Reels which is an exact copy of the immensely popular video product Tiktok. What more? when Zoom – the video conferencing app started gaining popularity during the pandemic, Facebook quickly released Rooms which is a group video chat service. Now it is trying to do the same with Clubhouse and for good reason.
Clubhouse: The Future Of Social Media?
Founded by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth last year, Clubhouse first started gaining traction among the elites of Silicon Valley as a private and invite-only iPhone app.
Currently, the app is in beta and still requires an invite to get on it. Once signed up on Clubhouse, users can create rooms dedicated to different and varied topics. As mentioned earlier, note that the app’s primary and default mode of communication is audio.
Clubhouse allows room sizes to vary from extremely intimate to thousands of people listening and participating at the same time. It flourished amid the mainstream audience during the pandemic when people increased their screen times significantly and searched for newer ways to remain connected while staying physically isolated.
At a recent internal meeting, Davison and Seth said Clubhouse has already achieved two million weekly active users. No wonder it has got Facebook worked up enough to start creating a clone.
Also, much like Twitter, seems like celebrities and investors have taken a liking to this new audio-concept. Drake, Jared Leto, Musk and many more have appeared on the app and joined different discussions and used the service to promote their projects.
According to Crunchbase, Clubhouse has raised $110 million so far at a whopping $1 billion valuation as of now. The company said that their investors include – capital venture firm Andreessen Horowitz and more than 180 others.
Thus, all in all, it looks like Clubhouse might just be what the future of social media look like – all talk, all audio! That being said, Clubhouse isn’t the only app gunning to win your ears besides Facebook in the near future.
Launched in 2015, Discord which started off as an audio platform for gamers, pivoted to an audio platform for everyone last year. Twitter is developing an audio-only product dubbed Audio Spaces and Mark Cuban, the billionaire tech investor has been allegedly known to be working alongside a Clubhouse rival as well.
After video and text, it now remains to be seen who ultimately ends up conquering this newfound and somewhat uncharted territory for social media. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.