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Reddit’s Reportedly Developing its Own Clubhouse-Like Audio Rooms Feature



With audio social still gaining traction, and providing more ways for users to stay connected, it seems that almost every platform is now considering their own take on the function, and how it could be integrated into their app.

And Reddit may be the latest one joining this trend – according to new reports, Reddit’s currently testing its own take on audio social, with audio rooms within subreddits.

As reported by Mashable:

“Reddit is quietly exploring a new feature that would enable moderator-run voice chats, possibly similar to Clubhouse, according to a source familiar with the company’s plan. Development is still in the early stages, and was described as confidential.”

Mashable notes that it’s sought clarification from Reddit on the project, which we have as well, but there’s no official confirmation of the project as yet.

But it would make sense.

Reddit’s been working on more options to boost real-time engagement and interaction over the past few years, with the addition of tools like live-streaming, and in-app messaging to better connect users with similar interests.

Reddit’s even tried out random group discussions, which take a somewhat similar approach to audio social.


Last April, Reddit added a new ‘Start Chatting’ prompt within selected subreddits, which, when tapped, launched an enclosed group discussion of up to five members at a time from that same community.

Reddit group chat

The idea was inspired by the rising use of Reddit’s existing chat features amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, which pointed to demand for more options to connect with those within their favorite communities.

Audio social rooms would seemingly be a perfect avenue for the same, providing a means for Redditors to enhance their community connection and engagement by dropping into real-time chats around their favorite topics, and among Redditors whom they already know and follow in the app.

With the development of Reddit’s video live-streaming capacity, which itself is seeing steady growth, the platform already has the infrastructure to support audio streaming, similar to how Twitter has used Periscope’s back-end for its own audio Spaces feature. As such, it makes sense for Reddit to at least explore the option – and it could end up being a perfect compliment to help boost on-platform engagement.

That would make Reddit the latest to jump onto the audio social trend, which now includes Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as Slack, Discord, and many other separate apps and tools. 

That’s not great news for Clubhouse, the originator of the new trend, which is now facing a growing horde of competitors seeking to eat into its audience, many of whom have many more resources and much larger networks to promote their alternate offerings.

The addition of the functionality in subreddits and groups could actually be the worst-case scenario for Clubhouse, with these dedicated, engaged user groups already established, which could keep them more closely aligned to their current apps of choice, as opposed to seeking out a third party provider for their separate audio chats.

Still, the app says that it’s now valued at $4 billion, which seems optimistic. But value is relative to what the market will pay – and if Clubhouse can raise more funding at that price tag, more power to them. 

But its future is far from certain, and with a new competitor in the space rising up every week, I wouldn’t be counting on Clubhouse winning out just yet.      




Ahead of World Cup, influencer ‘Mr Q’ lifts veil on Qatar



Khalifa Al Haroon, known to his followers as Mr Q, has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil on World Cup host Qatar

Khalifa Al Haroon, known to his followers as Mr Q, has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil on World Cup host Qatar – Copyright AFP KARIM JAAFAR

Raphaelle Peltier

At a time when prickly questions are being asked about Qatar and its hosting of the World Cup, Khalifa Al Haroon offers a smile, a sigh and a shrug as he seeks to explain its mysteries.

Known to his growing number of followers as Mr Q, the 38-year-old has become a social media hit by partially lifting the veil over the tiny but mega-rich Gulf state that describes itself as a “conservative” Islamic country.

The first World Cup in an Arab nation has put a spotlight on Qatar’s treatment of foreign workers, gender rights and even the use of air conditioning in stadiums.

Haroon’s cheerful #QTip videos broach everything from saying “Hello” in Arabic to the right way for men to wear the flowing ghutra headdress. There is also an edition on labour rights.

With less than 60 days to the November 20 start of the tournament, he now has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram and more than 115,000 on YouTube. And the numbers keep growing.


Qatar has dozens of online influencers on topics ranging from “modest” but expensive fashion, to the latest sports car being imported into what is now one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

Haroon carved out his niche by elucidating Qatar’s unknowns to its growing expat community — and now the hordes of football fans expected for the World Cup.

Haroon — who was born to a Qatari father and British mother and spent 16 years in Bahrain — said he was first confronted by global stereotypes about Qatar and the Middle East while studying for a law degree in Britain.

He had wanted to become an actor, but instead launched his social media presence in 2008 with a blog.

“I was in the perfect position because I was a Qatari who has never lived properly in Qatar,” he said.

– ‘Trust your own eyes’ –

“In essence, I was like a foreigner in my own country and so I had the same questions that foreigners did, and so it just made it easy for me to start putting together information.”

Haroon said there has to be a distinction between “negative news” and misinformation about his country.


“When it comes to fake news, obviously, I think everybody understands that it’s not true and so the only thing that I could do is show people videos and pictures and show them what we’re really like because you can trust your own eyes.”

Some people, he said, have told him they decided to move to Qatar after watching his videos.

Haroon, who is now a consultant to the Qatar Football Association and an eSports entrepreneur, said he is excited about the World Cup “because people can now come here and experience it for themselves and make their own judgements instead of just believing what’s written”.

His main grouse is how outsiders see something negative about Qatar and then believe that all Qataris “accept it or we all agree with it”.

Many supporters of the 31 foreign countries who will play in Qatar have raised concerns, however, about the welcome awaiting them. Can they drink? And what will happen to same-sex couples in a country where homosexuality is illegal?

The government has insisted that beer, normally restricted, will be available and that everyone is welcome. Haroon wants outsiders to experience “real Qatari hospitality”, with its food and coffee culture.

“Of course there are going to be certain social norms,” said Haroon. “What we are asking for is just respect the country. And of course the country will definitely be respecting everyone that comes.”

“Some people might make mistakes because they don’t know what the rules are and that’s OK,” he added.


“The point is our culture is all about intention, our religion is about intention, so as long as you have good intentions and you want to do the right thing, you have nothing to worry about.”

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