LinkedIn working on audio-only chat to rival Clubhouse

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Earlier in the year the invite-only chat app for iOS, Clubhouse, became increasingly popular thanks to shout out from the likes of Elon Musk. Naturally, now clones of Clubhouse have begun to crop up, with the most notable to date being Twitter’s Spaces. The latest to join the Clubhouse-rivalling pack is LinkedIn, with the business-focused social media platform working on a similar feature for its own users.

The product is not at the same stage of development that Spaces is, but it looks as if LinkedIn is leveraging its business-focused model for the development of this feature. As such, it appears as if the company is aiming for it to be used by professionals within a workplace context, as opposed to the more social nature of something like Clubhouse.

“We’re seeing nearly 50% growth in conversations on LinkedIn reflected in stories, video shares, and posts on the platform,” Suzi Owens, a spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch, confirming the audio feature’s development.

“We’re doing some early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity. And, we’re looking at how we can bring audio to other parts of LinkedIn such as events and groups, to give our members even more ways to connect to their community,” added Owens.

It is unclear what stage of the process LinkedIn is in, with the likes of Facebook, Discord and Telegram also at varying stages of the process in terms of developing and rolling out audio-based networking tools, apps or features.

For LinkedIn’s version, its success seems tied to the model that has made the platform so popular to date.

“Our priority is to build a trusted community where people feel safe and can be productive,” said Owens. “Our members come to LinkedIn to have respectful and constructive conversations with real people and we’re focused on ensuring they have a safe environment to do just that,” she concluded.

With Clubhouse leading the pack at the moment, it will be interesting to see which rival can indeed catch up and potentially surpass it. If we were betting, the size and resources of Facebook and LinkedIn make those two companies definite contenders.

For now, there is no timeframe for a launch by LinkedIn, but a beta is said to be on the way soon.

[Image – Photo by inlytics | LinkedIn Analytics Tool on Unsplash]
[Source – TechCrunch]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.