Facebook Incorporated is supposedly gearing up for the launch of a Clubhouse rival, as is indicated by the company asking multiple internal teams to research about audio chat products, amidst the rise of the Clubhouse service. This information was released by people familiar with these efforts.
Last summer, Facebook had introduced CatchUp, in a bid to encourage more voice calls between users seeing the influx of users to WhatsApp and Messenger services during the pandemic.
What Could Facebook’s Alternative Be?
A possible service that Facebook could use is Messenger Rooms, a video chat feature that is part of the Facebook application. This was launched in a bid to compete with Zoom, which became a popular video meeting app amidst the global pandemic.
As per people familiar with the matter, the social media company could allow users to use Rooms to broadcast their communications in a public manner, as is done on Clubhouse. The Rooms feature is currently limited to just 50 users at a time while Clubhouse offers support for a broadcast to thousands of people.
Another alternative could come from Facebook’s New Product Experimentation group, which focuses on building new applications and services for the popular Social media service. The audio efforts are currently minimal and, the company might not go through with it, said the people.
“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,” said a spokeswoman for the California-based company.
What is Clubhouse?
Facebook’s recent development comes at a time when Clubhouse has become a household name, allowing people to create discussion groups on the internet, increasing the chances of people mingling and providing a platform for discussions in relation to various topics. The company also raised $100 million recently, putting it at a reported $1 billion valuation.
For those of you unaware, Facebook has a history of producing clones or copies of its competitors that show early promise, so we might even see a clone of Clubhouse, but, that seems unlikely considering the number of cases levied on the company for previous misconduct in this regard.
A prime competitor of Facebook, Twitter is also interested in audio-based chats, with the company testing Spaces. This is currently limited to a few users, which is restricted to iOS.
CEO Jack Dorsey has spoken publicly about Spaces being a medium of public discussion. These types of audio conversations “present a new model for how we think about instantaneous and potentially ephemeral communities in public conversation,” stated Dorsey on a conference call with analysts on Tuesday.