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Clubhouse working on direct text messaging feature, new leak tips

A new option of "backchannel" was recently spotted on Clubhouse. Taken off soon after its accidental leak, the option hints at the next big feature that the company will reveal for its users.

(Image: Reuters) (Image: Reuters)
Story highlights
  • Clubhouse might be working on a direct text messaging feature for its users.
  • The feature was hailed by Clubhouse CEO in a town hall recently.
  • There are no hints on the extent of text messaging support that the feature will provide.

Clubhouse might have an important feature to offer to its users soon. The voice-based social networking app is potentially working on a one-on-one direct message that will let its users directly send text messages to each other, much like any other social media service.

Clubhouse dropped a hint at the feature recently, as some of the users of the app reported seeing a "backchannel" option on it. The new addition to the UI did not offer any call-to-action. The option led to a totally blank screen and so the users could not do anything on it.

The feature was spotted on the app late last week and disappeared soon after. Speculations have been made that the backchannel option was a glimpse at the company's next feature, text message support.

Since the function was shortlived on the app, there were no hints on its working other than the mere fact that it might exist soon. So it is not sure if the feature will simply support one-on-one DMs or allow group chats as and when it is live.

Clubhouse CEO Paul Davison previously hinted at the feature in a company town hall. Davison mentioned that he thought DM backchannels to be an important feature for a social media service and that the ability is something that Clubhouse "should have."

Though Davison clarified later that the feature won't be easy to make and that it would not happen right away. In a separate statement to TechCrunch, Clubhouse mentioned that the company regularly explores and tests such potential features. It stopped short of commenting if the feature will make it to the app or not.

So the future of the functionality on the app is not yet clear. There have been hints though, and just like the Clubhouse CEO mentioned, the feature would be an important function to offer to its users. Since all other social media platforms offer it, as does Clubhouse's latest competition Greenroom by Spotify, it might not be long before the app is forced to enable such a functionality for its own users too.

Another factor that might push it towards the decision is the flood of such voice-based social media apps since its inception. Facebook finally rolled out Live Audio Rooms and Podcast earlier this week, adding on to the competition. Clubhouse would thus be looking to have every advantage it can over its rivals.