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Reddit introduces its Clubhouse clone because it’s 2021 and that’s what we do now

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If you’re a social network, you have to have a Clubhouse clone on your platform. I don’t make the rules. Reddit is the latest to join the fold, and announced a live audio product last night.

The product is called Reddit Talk, and it lets you voice chat with other folks on your subreddit in real-time. However, it’s currently in the test phase and you have to register your interest through a waitlist if you want to try it out.

The functionality of the feature is akin to Clubhouse in terms of creating rooms and joining them with Twitter Spaces-inspired emoji reactions thrown in. Reddit’s product manager, Peter Yang, noted that this product is different because the platform’s pseudo-anonymous nature allows users to have more authentic conversations. However, that’s true for Twitter and Discord as well.

During its trial period, you can only host a talk if you’re a moderator of a community. This is to potentially avoid miscreants creating hateful and abusive rooms and increasing the moderation headache. For more control, admins can kick out an abusive participant, mute them, and prevent them from joining the room again.

Reddit’s announcement comes just as Facebook launched a major audio product effort, including live audio. In an interview with Platformer’s Casey Newton, Mark Zuckerberg said that there are still a lot of questions around where to draw moderation boundaries in live audio products. He added that the company would learn from their experiences in tackling hateful content in text and video, and apply some of that to these new mediums.

While Facebook has an army of moderators, Reddit will have to largely rely on community admins. While the product is in its trial period, the subreddit moderators may be able to keep things in check with a limited number of rooms. But the when the company decides to open up this feature, it might need to think about controlling hate speech through other measures as well.

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