LinkedIn confirms that a Clubhouse rival is in the works - here's what we know

linkedin rival to clubhouse
(Image credit: Raj Narayan)

Having launched a new way to make video profiles and a new Creator mode, now LinkedIn has confirmed that a rival to Clubhouse, an invitation-only audio chat room for iPhone users, is in the works. 

LinkedIn, the world's earliest online professional network builder, is working on an audio-based networking feature is a result of its members seeking better ways to communicate on the platform. The company, founded in 2002, got acquired by Microsoft in 2016 for $26.2 billion. 

What is Creator Mode?

The Creator Mode, which is slated to roll out to its global users from this week, can be used to create short video profiles targeting recruiters and potential employers. In addition, enabling the Creator Mode would allow users to add hashtags to suggest the topics that they care about most. 

The new mode also moves your Featured and Activity sections to the top of your profile to more prominently display your content and changes the “Connect” button to “Follow” to help you better engage with your community and build a following.

Both Creator Mode and Cover Story will roll out to LinkedIn members globally beginning this week and these tools should make it easier for users to stand out on the platform and possibly find their next position or gig.

What's LinkedIn creating now?

A report published by TechCrunch quoted LinkedIn spokesperson Suzi Owens to say that the platform saw a 50% growth in conversations around stories, videos and posts on the platform. "We're studying some early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your personal identity," the report said quoting Owens. 

The company also confirmed that they were seeking ways to bring audio to other sections of LinkedIn such as events, groups etc. with a view to provide members with even more ways to connect to their community. 

The report further suggested that LinkedIn had moved quickly to develop its own Clubhouse feature of a stage that showcases speakers in a room with listeners. In addition, there are tools that allow users to join and leave the room, respond to the comments, and request to speak. 

These were actually discovered by reverse Engineer Allessandro Paluzzi who shared the developments via a tweet. However, TechCrunch showcased yet another image that has much more details of the new feature. The company says the audio experience will be linked with a user's professional identity, thus making them more comfortable to engage with the content. 

Additionally, LinkedIn would also provide support of its other features such as LinkedIn Live to the audio service.  The company believes that the audio networking part of the deal is a natural extension of its other services such as Groups and Events that showed considerable growth in the post-pandemic time period.

All the action around Clubhouse 

These developments indicate that LinkedIn is dead serious on competing with the likes of Clubhouse, which started operations in April 2020, and is currently valued at over $1 billion dollars. This resulted in other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram shifting focus to audio-based networking features. 

While Twitter Spaces is already live in beta, the others haven't traversed far on this journey. Which makes these announcements from LinkedIn all the more crucial, given that Clubhouse itself appears to be taking its time with their development of the platform for Android users

Clubhouse's founder Paul Davison was recently quoted to suggest that an Android version of their popular app could be just a few months away. There were also some reports that the app proposed to launch some tweaks on its "Activity Feed" besides adding new tools to give users more control over push notifications. 

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Raj Narayan

A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.