The clubhouse is the newest social media sensation that everyone wants to be a part of. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Telegram are hopping on the audio-only broadcast trend. Each with its own specific twists and features.
Facebook is bent on outdoing Clubhouse, more than any other social networking organization. The behemoth is set to unveil not a single Clubhouse rival, but a slew of audio-centric features. Facebook has set its New Product Experimentation (NPE) team to work on a few solutions to create something to compete with Clubhouse. Facebook's Hotline is one of those to emerge from the shadows. And it may be able to stand on its own without being an exact copy of Clubhouse.
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The success of Clubhouse stems from its almost anonymous audio-only style, which makes it simple to host events and have participants chime in with questions or responses, depending on the format and settings. It is well-known for its simplicity and privacy. Since the sessions are not recorded without the permission of the host.
In contrast, Facebook's Hotline experiment only has one of those components. The focus is mainly on audio, but hosts (may or may not be the principal speaker) may turn on their cameras to display a live video feed in their circular profile. For now, participants can only type in their questions and submit them. The host can invite them to the virtual stage for one-on-one public interaction if he likes their question.
Facebook's Hotline, unlike Clubhouse, is more of a Q&A forum which is understandable considering its heritage. It's no surprise that sessions will be recorded automatically, and creators will receive both audio and video recordings after the event. Given that they're intended to be more informative than casual.
The brainchild of the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team is in beta testing, available only in the US as a web-based app. Hotline currently allows users to sign in via Twitter and then confirm their identity via SMS.
In these early tests, Facebook will be moderating inappropriate content. And hosts will have the ability to delete questions from the queue. The platform has no restriction on the size of the audience, as of now.?
Overall, Facebook's Hotline seems to have a place in a virtual world that is becoming interactive. It occupies a middle ground between social applications and video meeting apps. It's less formal than a conference but more formal than a social chat. Hotline doesn't have a smartphone app yet, but one for the iPhone is reportedly in the works.
Of course, Facebook is already working on other Clubhouse-like experiments, and it's unclear which of them will become an actual product.