Facebook Building Clubhouse-Like Audio Chat Product: Report

Facebook's audio chat project is reportedly in early stages of development.

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Facebook Building Clubhouse-Like Audio Chat Product: Report

The move will allow Facebook to expand into a new form of communication

Highlights
  • Facebook already has WhatsApp and photo-sharing platform Instagram
  • Clubhouse is currently only available on Apple's iOS store
  • Clubhouse has seen a surge in usage since onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

Facebook is building a new audio chat product similar to audio-based social network Clubhouse, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Clubhouse, launched in early 2020, saw explosive growth in user numbers earlier this month after Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev held a surprise discussion on the platform.

The exclusive app is currently only available on Apple's iOS store and has seen a surge in usage since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook's audio chat project is still in early stages of development, according to the New York Times.

The move will allow Facebook, which already has messaging app WhatsApp and photo-sharing platform Instagram, to expand into a new form of communication.

The social media company did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Earlier this month, a surprise chat between tech billionaire Elon Musk and Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev on new audio-based social network Clubhouse has helped propel the app to the top of the startup charts and sparked a scramble for invitations to the exclusive service.

The interaction between the two entrepreneurs on the platform came amid intense interest in news around Robinhood, the online brokerage caught up in a wild stock market battle between retail investors and big Wall Street funds.

Demand for invitations to the less-than-a-year-old service - members get to invite a limited number of friends during its pre-launch period - is so hot, a market for them has grown on platforms like Reddit, eBay, and Craigslist.

In China, invitations are being sold on Alibaba's second-hand market place Idle Fish, even though Clubhouse isn't available in Apple's app store in that country.

In Japan, investors, tech workers, and the media have swarmed the service.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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