Elon Musk’s recent guest appearance on audio chat app Clubhouse is potent public relations for the social media start-up. By hitting every tech enthusiast’s favourite topics: Mars, memes, crypto and Robinhood, Musk’s “room” — the Clubhouse term for groups participating in live events — reached capacity. Spillovers were created to let others listen in. 

Is audio the future of online socialising? Perhaps. Chat app Discord has more than 300-million users and Twitter is developing a Clubhouse-like voice product called Spaces. But California is littered with the remains of failed social networks. Friendster attracted millions of users when it launched in 2002. MySpace was once the most visited website in the US. Users deserted both. Even survivors can struggle. It took Twitter 12 years to report a quarterly net profit. ..

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