Facebook is working on their own Clubhouse clone, already

Zuckerberg never sleeps.

by Jenna Mahale
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Feb 11 2021, 12:41pm

Facebook, the social media behemoth known for its ability to keep you connected to people you knew in high school and threaten the fabric of democracy simultaneously, is reportedly building its own version of Clubhouse -- a new invite-only, audio-only social start-up.

The move comes as a surprise to approximately no one, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already made something of a name for himself in shamelessly stealing ideas from his competitors, Snapchat and TikTok, with the introduction of Stories and Reels, respectively. 

According to The New York Times, Facebook has a Clubhouse competitor in its “earliest stages of development”. Since Clubhouse itself is still only in its “beta” stage, this isn’t all that surprising. Founded just last year, the app can only be accessed by new users who have been invited by current ones, and is available on iPhones exclusively. But clearly, given Zuckerberg’s sudden interest in social audio, the company has made enough of an impact on the social media market to be considered a threat in the industry.

This comes just a couple of months after accusations were formally made by the Federal Trade Commission that Facebook has been illegally buying up rival companies in order to maintain an industry monopoly. “For nearly a decade, Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” said Attorney General Letitia James of New York, the Democrat leading the multi-state investigation into the company. As per the NYT, “The company’s stock fell 2 percent, to $277.70 a share, after the lawsuits were announced.”

Facebook, of course, denies these charges, as well as the idea that they’re simply ripping off Clubhouse’s social audio infrastructure with their new, as-yet unnamed venture. “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 Emilie Haskell, a spokesperson for the company. Sounds fake but okay, we’ll take all the online distractions we can get right now.

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