After the whole clubhouse boom, major tech companies like Twitter and Facebook also started venturing into offering alternatives to the service that enables a shift in discussions online from text to voice-enabled spaces. The latter’s feature called Hotline is a Clubhouse and Instagram Live mashup Q&A platform with support for live-streaming launched by Facebook’s experimental app team.
Hotline by Facebook has the core functioning like Clubhouse but it differs as it allows hosts to use video as well. Hosts can also schedule Q&A presentations and Facebook will allow hosts to record their sessions, and in both audio and video formats.
How hotline works
Hotline hosts have full control over the Q&A presentations and can remove inappropriate questions from the queue or remove people from their Hotline session.
“The listeners’ section is divided up between those who are just watching the event, as represented by their profile icons, and those who are asking questions. At the top of this section, you’re presented with the lists of questions that users have asked, which others can upvote or downvote accordingly. The creator can then look to this section to find out which questions to answer next and can pull listeners onto the stage area with them for a conversation.” TechCruch Reports
Hotline currently lets users sign in via Twitter, and then verify their identity via SMS. The platform is free to join wherever it’s available, and there’s no audience size limit as of now.
Despite the similarities with Clubhouse, because of its use of video, text-based questions, upvoting, and because it’s recorded, Hotline feels different. This makes it feel less casual and more like a professional event where an expert is leading a session and inviting an audience to ask questions.
Hotline’s website is live but the platform isn’t available in Kenya yet.