Big tech companies launch rivals in the clubhouse

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The clubhouse may be the big new social network of 2021, but tech superpowers seem intent on taking it down. A number of new product announcements from Facebook, Reddit and Twitter are naked attacks on Clubhouse’s audio rooms.

Let’s start with Facebook, which announced a number of new audio products yesterday, including a thinly disguised clubhouse alternative.

The social networking giant announced that it will provide live audio rooms for the Facebook app by the summer. It is apparently launched as an add-on for existing Facebook groups so that members can talk to each other at scheduled events.

In order to scatter the well-known stardust over Live Audio Rooms, Facebook also seems to be careful to include celebrities and sports stars. “As part of this initial rollout – and knowing that communities aren’t just built in groups – we will also provide live audio rooms for public figures to have conversations with other public figures, experts and fans can “announced Facebook on a blog post.

“We’re making live audio both accessible and discoverable so that public figures like American football quarterback Russell Wilson, Grammy nominated electronic music artist TOKiMONSTA, artist and director Elle Moxley, and five-time Olympic medalist and entrepreneur Nastia Liukin can share and can share ideas with new audiences and create a forum for discussion without the added pressure of being in front of the camera. “

In addition to the live audio rooms, Facebook announced its intention to host podcasts from the social network and a new feature called Soundbites that will allow members to record audio anecdotes, jokes, moments of inspiration, poetry and many other things that we haven’t introduced yet ”.

Reddit Talk

Reddit Talk screenshot

Reddit Talk brings audio conversations to its community


Reddit doesn’t want to be left out of the conversation either. There has been a “preview” of Reddit Talk, a new feature that allows subreddits to host audio conversations.

It shows screenshots that look remarkably similar to Clubhouse rooms, and appears to have many of the same features as Clubhouse, including the ability for attendees to raise their hands if they want to contribute to the live chat.

According to Reddit, moderators can only start conversations during the Reddit Talk test phase, “but they can invite trusted speakers to speak together”.

Reddit assumes that people use talk for “Q & As, AMAs” [ask me anything], Lectures, sports radio style discussions, community feedback sessions, or simply to provide community members with a place to hang out. “

The company has opened a waiting list for members who are dying to try it out.

Twitter Spaces

Finally, we come to Twitter Spaces, which was first announced late last year. It’s Twitter’s attempt to host live audio chat rooms where users can click a Spaces icon while composing a Tweet that starts a live audio session. Listeners can be invited to followers directly from DM or by tweeting a link.

Twitter’s approach appears to be more ad hoc than either of the above two competitors – less of a planned event, more of an open conversation about breaking events, which is Twitter’s core strength (and, as some may argue, weakness) .

Up to 11 people can speak on a Twitter area, and only those selected by the host are allowed to speak. Again, there’s the equivalent of raising your hand if you want to contribute. The service is currently in beta testing.

Twitter Spaces is intriguing as it was later revealed that the company had started talks to buy Clubhouse for around $ 4 billion. We don’t know whether Twitter Spaces started because it couldn’t buy Clubhouse, or whether it simply hoped to use Clubhouse to give service an immediate boost.

What we do know is that Big Tech is targeting the clubhouse. And the live audio networking is here to stay.