It never really comes as a surprise when social media platforms announce they’re developing features designed to compete with trending apps. Instagram’s Stories may have been inspired by Snapchat, and its IGTV was a take on YouTube or Facebook Live (even though the latter is the company that owns Instagram); Twitter Spaces was an early rival of the new Clubhouse. It’s all about social platforms striking while the iron is hot to score their share of the market and keep users all on one app.
So Facebook’s recent announcement that it’s testing Hotline, a competitor to Clubhouse, with a limited number of users is as expected.
The experimental app comes from Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team and is in a very early test phase. “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. New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and Bars, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” said Facebook in a statement.
If the Hotline platform did come to eventual fruition, it might look something like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse, with users being able to upvote and downvote questions and react to them with certain emojis. During the early stages of testing, Facebook said, employees will moderate events.
While we wait to see what happens with this early effort, it’s being reported that Reddit is developing a Clubhouse-style feature, too. Mashable spoke with a source that stated Reddit has been quietly experimenting with a new feature that would enable moderator-run voice chats, capitalizing on the current massive popularity of the communication format.
This information has not been confirmed by Reddit—Mashable says it contacted Reddit multiple times and the company never responded—but the source claims that development is in early stages, and really, how could it not be? It won’t be long before every social platform and website has a voice chat or even video chat feature.
For now, best to stick to honing your skills on Clubhouse and getting familiar with its features and benefits. Before long, Instagram will undoubtedly offer the feature of choice—somehow, it always seems to make it work.
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