The biggest social media trend of 2021 is loud and clear: Audio. The medium has exploded in just a matter of months with apps like Clubhouse attracting a reported 10 million users.

The app, which hosts millions of conversations across its platform daily, is still in an elusive invite only phase but has captured an audience despite its lack of traditional social media staples — it’s free of video, images, links and… comments! Part live podcast, part panel, part networking events, the app is using audio to explore topics across the board from identity to tech. Since January Clubhouse has drawn in some big players like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg and more. 

 

 

Speaking of Zuckerberg, the Facebook leader has followed suit and is reportedly developing audio features for both the Facebook and the Instagram platforms. Social Media Today reports that the audio only rooms would allow users to have live conversations that anyone can tap into, following the Clubhouse model. Facebook Groups is an area in which the audio feature may become hugely popular allowing these already existing, highly active communities to continue and develop their conversations.

Instagram, an app that was built entirely around visuals, is also reportedly playing around with an audio-only version of their Live Rooms and Twitter has joined the party with Spaces, their feature that allows users to host audio chats within the app. Twitter will reportedly be opening Spaces out to all users from April.
 
 

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Clubhouse employs only 9 people but its value is estimated at $100 million despite only going live in 2020. It’s hard not to address the pandemic in the room and many are wondering will we still be speaking about Clubhouse in 2022, but for now it seems that the platform has tapped into a shift in user behaviour and an appetite for something different. Hungover from the Trump administration and an era defined by fake news, we know that audio connects authentically and speaks to our senses in a very powerful way. Unlike podcasts or radio, these apps and features offer much larger opportunities for users to have their voices heard and to be a bigger part of the conversation — for better or worse.
 
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