It feels like just about every big tech company is working on something to rival Clubhouse — Twitter’s Spaces feature is rolling out now, Facebook is reportedly building one, Spotify is making one, Mark Cuban has one, even Slack is getting in the game. Clubhouse’s list of competitors is simply growing. But now, the idea of the shared audio space, which started on Clubhouse largely as an exclusive club for tech venture capitalists and elites, has come full circle. Professional social network LinkedIn is working on an audio networking feature of its own, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.
“We’re doing some early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity,” LinkedIn said in a statement to TechCrunch. “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.” LinkedIn shared the same statement with The Verge after we first published this article.
LinkedIn said the feature will begin beta testing soon. Below is a mockup of what the feature might look like, which LinkedIn shared with TechCrunch. Like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, it features a stage of speakers front and center and a list of people in the audience lower down the screen.
LinkedIn says its development of an audio-based networking feature came about because its members and creatives have been asking for more ways to communicate on its platform.
“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 LinkedIn, said when confirming its 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,” she said.
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