Clubhouse is making waves. The app, which as of May had 10 million weekly active users with more on the waitlist, recently became available on Android and was valued at $4 billion in April 2021. The idea is that users can listen to and participate in live audio chats on a huge range of topics; in practice, it became popular primarily due to Black creators, eventually attracting US tech elite such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. It’s become the platform of choice to have frank political discussions for South Koreans, Hong Kongers, and Palestinians.
Other social media companies want in on the action. (As usual, the path to monetization isn’t clear and will be sorted out later.) Between March and May 2021, six companies announced plans to launch Clubhouse competitors, and they’re not the only ones. ”Audio is seeing a huge renaissance overall right now,” a Facebook spokesperson tells Quartz.
We’ve outlined many of these new live audio features below.