Mark Zuckerberg Appears on Clubhouse App Days after Elon Musk, Causing Platform Crashes

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a guest appearance on the Clubhouse app on Thursday, just days after Tesla boss Elon Musk.

The billionaire social networking boss spoke about his firm's Reality Labs division, which is creating products or social experiences around virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). He said that Facebook has a four to five year roadmap planned out.

Like Musk, Zuckerberg appeared on The Good Time Show, a tech and culture segment helmed by Sriram Krishnan, who has previously worked for Twitter, Facebook and Snap, and Aarthi Ramamurthy, who is a product director at Facebook.

The show was scheduled as a chat with Andrew 'Boz' Bosworth, who leads Facebook's Reality Labs. It also featured Fidji Simo, who is head of the Facebook App. Before going live, Krishnan had teased on Twitter that there would also be a "special guest."

Unlike TikTok, Twitter and Facebook itself, Clubhouse is only focused on audio rooms. It was released in beta form last March and has since been growing as an invite-only app, but is expected to eventually be released for everyone on iOS and Android.

Clubhouse received a major publicity boost on Monday this week after Musk's guest appearance, when he confronted the CEO of stock trading app Robinhood.

Zuckerberg's handle on the platform was @Zuck23. Users said his debut was seemingly linked to the app suffering from a series of unexplained crashes and glitches.

"Total madness—the *huge* spikes from Zuck showing up are causing issues. We are trying to restart the room. Hang on. I think we might be melting a bunch of servers live," Krishnan tweeted. He later added that Zuckerberg's cameo had been "fun."

Audio from the room was not immediately available online. At least one journalist was reportedly blocked from the show, restricting their ability to cover the segment.

Hi Sriram, can you explain why you continue to block (especially female) journalists from your public “Good Time” room? You regularly host high profile guests. Why block tech reporters who report on harassment and abuse while allowing far right influencers to join in? https://t.co/zBjTrOgNNx

— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) February 5, 2021

Some Twitter users speculated Zuckerberg's appearance could be an indicator that he was investigating the up-and-coming app for a potential acquisition, but it was noted this was unlikely due the scrutiny Facebook has faced for similar past actions.

Listening to Mark Zuckerberg chat on Clubhouse, it's impossible not to wonder how long before Facebook releases its own version of this product

— Sal Rodriguez 🕷 (@sal19) February 5, 2021

So how much of today’s appearance by Mark Zuckerberg on Clubhouse is really about kicking the tires of the app before Facebook makes an acquisition bid for it?

— Ken Yeung (@thekenyeung) February 5, 2021

Clubhouse has been contacted for comment by Newsweek.

Jason Kint, CEO of the trade association Digital Content Next, noted on Twitter that the selective blocking of listeners, including journalists, was a "problem" for Clubhouse, and poured cold water on chatter that Zuckerberg would move to buy the app.

He explained: "For those watching Zuckerberg's Clubhouse appearance trend here and suggesting he's just scoping it for an acquisition, that's not happening.

"You're now seeing the impact of 48 state AGs [attorney generals] and FTC lawsuits. Facebook can no longer acquire a hot social media app. Welcome to 2021."

Mark Zuckerberg leaves a meeting with Senator
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves a meeting with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in his office on Capitol Hill on September 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Zuckerberg made a guest appearance on the Clubhouse app on February 4, 2021, just days after Tesla boss Elon Musk. Samuel Corum/Getty