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What antitrust investigation?


Facebook appears to be building on its age-old playbook even as antitrust regulators investigate the company for anti-competitive behavior.

The social media app, which is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and 46 states, has a history of cloning popular features from its buzzing competitors. The last target? None other than Clubhouse, the new trendy invite-only audio app which allows users to talk to each other or listen to a conversation in a chat room.

Facebook executives reportedly told employees to create a similar product, which is now in its early stages of development, according to The New York Times. The news came just six days after CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopped onto Clubhouse to discuss remote working and augmented and virtual reality.

Zuckerberg isn’t the only CTO making an appearance on the app. You’re here CEO Elon Musk, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev and tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban all joined in on the action. The app is rapidly gaining users and has become a hotspot for venture capitalists and techies. So it’s no surprise that Facebook wants a piece of this pie.

The company did the same after don’t buy snapchat. Instead, he posted Stories, short video clips that disappear after 24 hours – a feature often attributed to Snapchat. Facebook also created a TikTok-like feature when it posted Instagram Reels in August.

In response to reports of a replica from the Clubhouse, a Facebook spokesperson proposed Fortune the following statement: “We have connected people through audio and video technologies for many years and are constantly exploring new ways to improve this experience for people.”

What is A surprise – but perhaps shouldn’t be – is Facebook’s decision to continue engaging in behaviors that led to an antitrust investigation in the first place. Regulators fear that Facebook is using aggressive acquisition tactics such as cloning features from other companies. Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook had “adapted features that others have introduced” after being toasted by the House antitrust subcommittee last year.

But so far, the strategy has worked in Facebook’s favor. Facebook continues to be the dominant social media application, generating $ 84.2 billion in revenue last year. Instagram, which would have become one of its biggest rivals had it not been acquired, has become one of its most valuable assets, and stories are proving to be a promising feature for advertisers.

As the saying goes, imitation is the best form of flattery, that is, unless Facebook is the imitator.

Danielle Abril
@DanielleDigest
danielle.abril@fortune.com

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Social distancing; quarantine; avoid bars and restaurants. Public health advice that is saving lives and slowing the spread of COVID-19 appears to make dating impossible during a pandemic. But people have flocked to online dating apps: Tinder set a daily swipe record, counting 3 billion on March 29, 2020. Between March and May of last year, OkCupid saw a 700% increase in dates. . In this episode of Brainstorm, hosts Michal Lev-Ram and Brian O’Keefe take a look at the online dating boom fueled by the pandemic. Listen to the episode here.





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