Facebook’s internal R&D group, NPE Team, has launched Hotline—their take on Clubhouse—into public beta testing. The web-based application is not yet available in Malaysia, but joining a waitlist is available in the US.
Real estate investor Nick Huber was the first to publicly try out Hotline. In his livestream, Huber talked about investing in industrial real estate as a second income stream.
According to Facebook, Huber represents the kind of creator Facebook wants to work with for Hotline. He is “someone who helps people expand their professional skills or their finances”.
Hotline is similar to Clubhouse in which users can listen to a speaker (or speakers) talk live online. However, instead of it being an all-audio app, users would send typed questions via Twitter for the speaker to answer.
As you listen, you can also click on emojis at the bottom of the screen as reactions to what the speakers are saying. This is something Clubhouse currently doesn’t have, although Clubhouse users have a cute way of reacting by toggling their mute buttons on and off.
Speakers are able to remove inappropriate questions from the typed questions queue, and remove people from their sessions. Speakers can also appear in video form if they want to.
Another notable difference between Hotline and Clubhouse is that Hotline events are recorded. After the session, the host will receive two recordings of the session—one as an mp3 and another as an mp4.
The stark differences between Hotline and Clubhouse makes it feel like more of a professional event rather than what most of Clubhouse can be, which is a place where people can just hang out and talk. No app is better than the other, but they serve very different purposes.
“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Hotline spokesperson said.
It’s just funny that a Facebook product is only allowing users to sign in via Twitter to ask questions for now. Speaking of Twitter, the platform is launching their own version of Clubhouse—Spaces—which is expected to be available publicly this month.