It’s not a big secret that whenever something big or viral is going on with a competitor, Facebook will either acquire the company or create something similar to it. One of the popular new apps today is Clubhouse, a social network that happens in audio chat rooms. And even though Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg made an appearance on the app last week, it looks like he’s instructed the teams to come up with something that can clone and rival the new upstart.
If you’re not familiar with Clubhouse, it’s a social networking app but instead of text, photos, or videos, people communicate through audio chat rooms. It’s still in beta and is invite-only for iOS devices. Users create rooms where they discuss various topics, sometimes with just a few invited in but at times, there are thousands of people in there listening or participating. The New York Times refers to it as a CB radio and 80s-era party line hybrid.
Because it’s become pretty popular especially in Silicon Valley, Facebook executives are now instructing teams to create something similar to Clubhouse.. They are still in the early stage of development but given Zuckerberg’s interest in audio communication forms, these reports may have some truth in it. And anything that the younger audience is interested in, trust that Facebook will want to have something like that.
The social network giant has a history of buying then small start-ups like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus. Or if they don’t buy a company, they will clone a popular feature from an app. Instagram’s Stories was inspired by Snapchat’s Snaps and now they’re also introducing and pushing Reels, which is pretty similar to TikTok. And because Zoom was the app of the pandemic, we now have Rooms on Facebook for group video chatting.
Facebook has a New Product Experimentation team but we’re not hearing anything yet if they’re the ones working on the Clubhouse-like product. And since it’s still early days, we won’t get a lot of details for now. Let’s wait for more leaks and rumors as the project goes along.