The app allows for livestream video, unlike the audio and invite-only platform Clubhouse, with its first Q&A being livestreamed on Wednesday with real-estate investor Nick Huber.
Today, Facebook’s internal R&D group, NPE Team, launched its latest experiment, Hotline, into public beta testing. This web-based application allows creators to speak to an audience who can then ask questions through either text or audio. However, unlike Clubhouse, creators can opt to turn their cameras on for the event, instead of being audio-only.
Hotline, led by Eric Hazzard, is taking inspiration from Clubhouse. Even the user interface will look similar to Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and any of the other audio-only social networks.
There are a few big differences between Hotline and Clubhouse, for starters, the app has users sign in with Twitter then verify their identity via SMS.
Hotline separates listeners into those that are asking questions and those who are just watching the session. Clubhouse divides the listeners into those following – the speakers and “others in the room.”
At present, Hotline users can type in their questions, and join the host “on stage,” when it’s their turn. Guests are represented by their profile icon and are audio only when on stage.
Clubhouse favours more casual chats where people understand there’s no transcript or recording taking place, allowing participants to speak more freely and with less fear.
Hotline isn’t Facebook’s only attempt to challenge Clubhouse. The company is also in the process of developing a Clubhouse rival within the Messenger Rooms product experience, Facebook recently confirmed.