Clubhouse is to 2021 what TikTok was to 2020. It sort-of arrived out of nowhere and quickly became the social media platform everyone wanted to be on. Its invite-only status only made it that much more enticing to content creators hoping to make important connections and stand out in a very crowded digital space. It was only a matter of time before other sites took notice and if the rumors are true, Facebook is already working on a Clubhouse-like feature to compete with the audio chat product.
According to The New York Times, the social network is looking to “expand into new forms of communication” and auditory experience is of particular interest to them In fact, Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg participated in a Clubhouse chat earlier this month about augmented and virtual reality. Of course, past updates have taught us that Facebook isn’t too keen on mentioning competitors, even while exploring ideas that appear to be replicas of products they don’t own.
“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 Facebook spokeswoman Emilie Haskell to the Times. (Clubhouse also declined to comment.)
In addition to working on its own innovation, Facebook has also created products that compete with other versions; including but not limited to Instagram Reels (a TikTok alternative) and Facebook Rooms (a Zoom alternative). Should Facebook unveil a Clubhouse-esque product in the future, it will be interesting to see how it differs. Since Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are free to use, it wouldn’t be surprising if their version didn’t require an invite and allowed for a seamless transition between Facebook-owned platforms.
To that same point, the invite-only factor is part of Clubhouse’s appeal because it projects exclusivity. Clubhouse also remains a top download in app stores and continues to attract celebrity users. Could a new product eclipse its success? Only time will tell.
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