The social media company, which is known for cloning its competitors, has begun working on an audio chat platform.
Facebook is currently building an audio chat platform that works very similarly with the new app Clubhouse. However, according to two reliable sources, the social media company, the platform aims to expand into new forms of communication.
Notably, Clubhouse is an audio-based platform that has gained extreme popularity for allowing users to gather in audio chat rooms to discuss various topics. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have long shown interest in audio-based communication platforms. For this reason, he recently showed up on the Clubhouse chat to discuss virtual and augmented reality.
Facebook Executives Ordered Employees to Create an App Similar to Clubhouse
According to sources who are not authorized to speak publicly, the social media giant’s executives ordered their employees to build a product similar to the young app. Right now, the product is already in its early stages of development. However, they also said that the code of this project could still change.
Facebook’s spokesperson Emilie Haskell said that the company has been connecting people through video and audio technologies for many years now using its products. In addition, she noted that they are always exploring new methods to improve people’s communication experience.
On the other hand, Clubhouse was also asked for a statement about it but declined to answer.
Furthermore, the social media giant is known as a platform that breaks into new technologies. It also chases various mediums that are proven to attract audiences, most especially those who are young. Zuckerberg is the man behind the messaging app WhatsApp, the photo-sharing platform Instagram, and Oculus, a virtual reality company.
Facebook is Popular for Cloning Its Competitors
Moreover, Facebook is also well-known for its willingness to copy its competitors. For example, in 2016, Instagram cloned one of the most popular features of its rival Snapchat — the Stories feature. This feature lets users share videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours. And last year, the photo-sharing platform launched a product that cloned the features of the short-form video platform TikTok — Reels. In addition, when the video conferencing platform Zoom increased in popularity last year, Facebook quickly built Rooms, a video chat service.
This year, Substack, a newsletter platform, is becoming popular. And you guessed it right, Facebook is currently working on a product to compete with it. This will result in a massive growth of users buying Facebook post likes across the entire Facebook platform.
Moreover, it became possible for the social media giant to engage in experimental app development since it has its New Product Experimentation Team. This team particularly worked on travel apps, music apps, and podcast apps, among others.
The clubhouse was founded last year to provide people with a means of communication, while the COVID-19 pandemic limits physical interactions. Its founders were Paul Davison and Rohan Seth. The platform gained popularity among the Silicone Valley elites as a private, invite-only app that is only accessible on iPhone.
Right now, the app is still in its beta stage. That means that it is still in the testing stage before being released to the general public.
How to Access Clubhouse
The first thing that you need to do to access Clubhouse is to sign up for it on the app. After that, users will be able to create rooms that are dedicated to different topics. Rather than text or video, this app’s medium is only audio. The sizes of the rooms within the app vary. It can be intimate or thousands of individuals listening and participating.
The app was created and became popular in the pandemic as people are searching for a medium that will connect them. It sits at the top of the app rankings in the Apple App Store in countries such as Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Japan.
During a recent internal meeting, the Clubhouse founders said that the app had approximately two million weekly users.
Social Media Giant Facebook is Building a Product To End Clubhouse
Many celebrities have already appeared on the platform and joined various discussions using the service to promote their projects. That includes Tiffany Haddish, Drake, Jared Leto, and even a co-founder of Instagram.
Investors have noticed the increasing popularity of the audio-based platform. For this reason, the company was able to raise $100 million just this January at a $1 billion valuation, as reported by PitchBook. Last year, Clubhouse was valued at $100 million. Among its 180 investors include the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Moreover, it is not only Facebook that is trying to compete with Clubhouse. As of now, Twitter is testing out its own audio-based platform called Spaces. Notably, Spaces offers an audio chat platform that is very similar to Clubhouse.
In addition, international interest in the audio-based platform has also spread. Recently, it was blocked in China after the citizens there joined a room with Taiwan, Hong Kong, and people from elsewhere to share their thoughts on various topics that range from political to general knowledge.
Tech giants have also begun to appear on the platform occasionally. For instance, the world’s richest person Elon Musk agreed to be interviewed on Clubhouse a couple of months ago. He joined a room and two Silicon Valley technologists Aarthi Ramamurthy and Sriram Krishnan, the hosts of Good Time, a nightly talk show on the app. Naturally, this interview brought a huge amount of interest to the app. In fact, Clubhouse has struggled to keep its service afloat.
Recently, the hosts of Good Time interviewed an executive from Facebook when a surprise guest suddenly appeared — Mark Zuckerberg. He briefly talked about the future of virtual and augmented reality. He also discussed the plans of Facebook.