Clubhouse

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook is beta testing a Clubhouse-Inspired audio Q&A feature
Facebook is beta testing a Clubhouse-Inspired audio Q&A feature
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Logo Facebook (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Facebook ran its first public beta test of Hotline — a web-based Q&A platform that seems like it was dreamed up as the platform’s answer to the current voice chat app craze started by Clubhouse.

Creators will address an audience of users, who will then be able to respond by asking questions with either text or audio. Unlike Clubhouse - which is strictly an audio-only platform - Hotline users will have the option to turn their cameras on during events, adding a visual element to an otherwise voice-dominated experience.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter Spaces lands on Android ahead of Clubhouse
Twitter Spaces lands on Android ahead of Clubhouse

Twitter Spaces, the company's answer to Clubhouse, is now available on Android. Until now, the audio chat rooms were iOS-only. Other Spaces features are being shared in public as they're designed and prototyped, including things like titles and descriptions, scheduling options, support for co-hosts and moderators, guest lists, and more.

This fast pace has now led Twitter to beat its rival Clubhouse - the app currently leading the "social audio" market - to offer Android support. But now, a separate beta app won't be required - when live Spaces are available, they'll appear at the top of the Twitter timeline for Android users to join.

Technology • Internet & Web
Clubhouse likely to face competition from Twitter and Facebook
Clubhouse likely to face competition from Twitter and Facebook
Credit: unsplash.com / Adem AY

The up-and-coming audio app Clubhouse is getting competition: Twitter is expanding the test run of its Spaces service. And Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also commissioned the development of a competing Clubhouse product, writes the New York Times, citing anonymous sources. Facebook is known for mimicking popular features of other social media services in its apps. However, the project is still in the early stages, the newspaper writes.

Technology • Internet & Web
Clubhouse is now blocked in China
Clubhouse is now blocked in China
Credit: William Krause

Thousands of Chinese users suddenly found themselves unable to access Clubhouse on early Monday evening as the country prepared to start the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

Over the weekend, several large Chinese-language chat rooms were set up on the invite-only audio app, where guests talked about politically-charged topics such as the ongoing crackdown against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, democracy in Hong Kong and the sovereignty of Taiwan.

Clubhouse has faced criticism at home in the U.S. for its lack of effective moderation and abuse-prevention practices, so it's hardly a surprise that it has fallen afoul of China's rather more strict enforcement of measures designed to stifle the spread of information the government deems inappropriate for discussion.