Social media giant Twitter was reportedly in talks to Clubhouse for a staggering $US4 billion ($5.26 billion), according to Bloomberg. However, these talks have now stalled.
After launching last year in an exclusive fashion, Clubhouse has amassed more than 10 million users despite remaining invite-only and iOS-only. The app is popular with celebrities, entrepreneurs and, well, people who like to shout into the void.
But after its launch last year, the idea of hosting live audio conversations has grown in popularity, leading other social networking sites to jump on the bandwagon, including Twitter. So, if Twitter already has its own audio hosting platform — Twitter Spaces — why does it want Clubhouse?
It’s unclear which party initiated the conversation, or why the conversation reportedly came to a halt, but it would make sense if Twitter’s goal was to wipe out the competition and saturate the live audio market. According to the report, the talks spanned over several months before grinding to a halt recently.
The news comes just a day after Bloomberg reported that Clubhouse had a valuation of $US4 billion ($5.26 billion) and was seeking to raise funding to that amount. But according to the report, the talks with Twitter ended before they began pursuing more investors, so it appears this prompted some sort of change of strategy.
It’s possible that the astronomical price tag could have played a part in the decision — it’s a hell of a lot of money for Twitter to fork out, given the relative success of their Spaces platform.
But although the deal fell through, the fact that conversations were happening makes it pretty clear that Twitter is placing a significant amount of value in the live audio and audio-only market. How this will influence Twitter Spaces, and any future plans for the company remains unknown, but it wouldn’t be surprising if this resulted in a bigger and better version of Twitter Spaces in the near future.
With Twitter out of the question, it’ll be interesting to see what’s next for Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and for live audio hosting in general.
In addition to Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, LinkedIn, Facebook, Discord and Spotify are all testing their own versions of the live audio format.