Facebook building Clubhouse-like audio chat product: New York Times

February 10, 2021 1:27 PM EST

FILE PHOTO: Facebook logo displayed on a mobile phone is seen through a magnifying glass in this picture illustration taken February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

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(Reuters) - Facebook Inc is building a new audio chat product similar to audio-based social network Clubhouse, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Clubhouse, launched in early 2020, saw explosive growth in user numbers earlier this month after Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk and Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev held a surprise discussion on the platform.

The exclusive app is currently only available on Apple Inc's iOS store and has seen a surge in usage since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook's audio chat project is still in early stages of development, according to the New York Times. (https://nyti.ms/3rT4Pg7)

The move will allow Facebook, which already has messaging app Whatsapp and photosharing platform Instagram, to expand into a new form of communication.

The social media company did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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