Facebook is apparently launching its own version of much-hyped at Clubhouse, the live podcasting social-media-radio app. The new update will appear in Facebook’s own Rooms, which are its version of Zoom calls. Facebook will integrate the functionality into both its desktop interface and via Facebook Messenger.
According to leaks, the company will divide these rooms into two different types. Private audio, which will be for you and your friends, or Public, which will allow anyone on Facebook to listen in. This is a far less exclusive setup than Clubhouse, which is notoriously stingy with invites as well as currently being an iOS exclusive.
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The discovery comes from Alessandro Paluzzi, as first reported by Engadget (opens in new tab), who posted a set of screenshots on Twitter, including a very alarming mockup that features dozens of Mark Zuckerbergs. Of course, this could be real, and Mark’s robot clone army is also nearly ready for deployment.
Let's take a look at the "Memory" feature currently in development by #Google 👀 https://t.co/ahFs8Wjphq pic.twitter.com/ToRRxQQXtMMarch 24, 2021
Rumors around Facebook entering Clubhouse’s clubhouse and stealing all its ideas have been around for some time. Back in February, Engadget reported that the CEO was investigating the rival service after he popped into a Clubhouse room. There, when chatting about virtual reality, he noticed the pleasantness of the experience and began thinking of ways to integrate a similar feature set into Facebook.
Facebook is well known for being the technological equivalent of a magpie. It previously spotted the shiny jewels on offer in Snapchat and built a surprisingly similar-looking feature for Instagram called Stories. And then moved that over to both Facebook and WhatsApp, which is an efficient use of idea-borrowing.
Facebook Rooms currently support 50 people, which clearly won’t be enough for public broadcasts. The interface does allows itself to be collapsed. The screenshots shared show the number of speakers and listeners in each room.
Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch (opens in new tab) that it was experimenting with audio features.