It was only a matter of time, for Facebook to launch its own version of popular audio-based social media platform, Clubhouse. It is called Hotline and is developed by Facebook’s New Product Experiment (NPE) division. It usually rolls out innovative apps but there is not much new about Facebook Hotline.
Multiple tech giants have introduced Clubhouse clones to compete in the audio chat market. However, Facebook has added some new features to differentiate itself from others.
Facebook Hotline Features Video Sharing
The most notable feature that sets it apart from Clubhouse is the support for video call. Users can toggle between audio and video during a call, as they wish. Still, the video seems like a secondary feature to audio because streams are shown in small circles rather than taking up large screen area like YouTube. As Facebook Hotline is in experimental phase, this feature is not active yet.
The app largely emphasizes on the question and answer part of the conversation. Much like Clubhouse, Hotline allows users to host live Q&A sessions with one or more than one speakers. However, it allows anyone to join the conversation to listen or to bring in more guests. Clubhouse on the other hand only allows that through invitation.
Hosts on the Hotline can of course remove unwanted participants and questions from the session. Facebook Hotline also records conversations automatically. This can be helpful in podcast sessions but there will not be any anonymity, for which Clubhouse appealed to the masses. This makes the app feel professional unlike the casual and homey vibes of Clubhouse.
When Will Its Full Version Arrive?
Even though there is Facebook behind this app, users can also sign in with their Twitter accounts. They just need to visit the hotline.co website and sign up on the waiting list (the experimental version might not be available in multiple countries). Public beta is available to selective users only at the moment.
NPE projects tend to be very basic and might not attract many users. The company is just trying out various options with NPE to decide which features can eventually get added on Facebook or Instagram apps.
Hotline’s unique approach to target market could be an advantage over its competitors. Apps like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces have become standard apps for audio-chatters. However, they are more likely to get tedious and hectic over time. Professional speakers, artists, creators, and influencers would certainly get attracted towards the features of Hotline.