Facebook to rival Clubhouse soon


New reports today are talking about Facebook’s answer to yet another contender in the social media wars.


Ashley Carman at the Verge reports on Facebook’s attempt to launch its brand new Live Audio Rooms service to compete with the Clubhouse audio conference app, which is doing so well in terms of user adoption.


Clubhouse has become popular as a new alternative to multimedia platforms like – well, Facebook.

“What makes the app stand out is the lack of text, pictures and videos,” writes an unnamed author at BBC. “It is audio only. Also, everything happens live, in real time. Within the app, conversations aren’t recorded or made available to play back later. So you have to catch everything as it happens… The audio-only format gives it the intimacy of listening to a podcast or a talk-radio show. And although many people just use the app to speak to their friends, you can hear famous and influential people such as Tesla and SpaceX billionaire Mr Musk casually chatting as if you were in the room with them.”

Facebook, Carman writes, intends to start a pilot in some of its groups and special meeting rooms, and eventually release the live audio rims feature to messenger. Facebook’s Live Audio Rooms will have no-limit attendance, notifications, permissions controls, and direct donation buttons to tie a particular meetup to a nonprofit or charity.


If all of this sounds like videoconferencing with more bells and whistles, it’s also an extension of Facebook’s very entrenched corporate strategy – to never cede ground to outside contenders, even if the services they’re working on are quite dissimilar to what’s in Facebook’s enormous walled garden.


The news that Facebook is looking to create an “audio creator fund” for its live audio system is reminiscent of the money is set up for compensating traditional publishers for content viewed on its site.


Facebook is reportedly also looking to get more involved with podcasts and set up an agreement with Spotify to become even more of a one-stop shop for a given user’s communications needs.


While this may be good for the company’s bottom line, it may also inspire more types of antitrust criticism for a firm that’s already seen as pretty monolithic in today’s digital market. Look for the fallout in markets, in FAANG and elsewhere.