Hot on the heels of Clubhouse and wanting to gain a slice of the burgeoning audio chat market, Facebook is finally showing its hand with ‘Hotline’ beta tests.
Well… that didn’t take long, did it?
Clubhouse’s meteoric rise over the last year has cemented ephemeral audio chat as the hottest new USP in social media’s ever-fleeting wheelhouse, thus putting a gigantic target on the app’s back.
Keen to usurp the newcomer platform, heavyweight Silicon Valley conglomerates are circling to take advantage of this profitable new market and it appears there’s no time to waste.
Less than two months after initial industry rumblings, we can confirm that yes: Facebook has been frantically developing behind the scenes to come up with an audio clone worthy of challenging Clubhouse – and eventually the likes of Twitter’s Spaces too.
Boldly showing its hand early on, Facebook has already launched beta testing for what it calls ‘Hotline,’ and despite sounding like a new kind of emergency service, it actually looks pretty decent.
Pieced together by Facebook’s New Product Experiment (NPE) division, which regularly doles out apps with fresh ideas (or in this case, someone else’s) Hotline has several features which may help to differentiate itself from Clubhouse, and arguably to build on the OG’s overall experience.
For starters, Hotline functions around a Q&A set-up – a format which has served Facebook well recently, with Eddie Hazzard’s acquired app ‘TBH’ growing to 2.5 million daily users in two months.