Image credits: William Krause
News Article

Facebook’s Hotline Goes Against Clubhouse

By Sofía Hanna | Mon, 04/12/2021 - 17:55

Clubhouse, an application where you can set up virtual chat rooms based on topics of interest, became the trending topic of 2020 given its new and innovative concept. Recently, the application had certain problems due to the dissemination of confidential information of 1.3 million users. Nevertheless, its success caught the eye of Facebook that has now developed its own alternative. 

Clubhouse has an audio format, which simulated a podcast or a radio show. What made it so interesting was that personalities like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Kanye West and Oprah Winfrey were on the app right from the start, according to BBC News.  All of the chats and conversations within the app are happening live and those just listening have the opportunity to raise their hand to ask questions, so it ends up being an interactive forum where people can listen to subjects that interest them from people in the industry. Another factor of interest was that entering the application was through invitation only, which made it sort of an exclusive space. Even though Latin participation was limited at first, more people are joining, including Mexican entrepreneur Arturo Elías Ayub and Mexican writer Xavier Velasco, according to Milenio.

Some of the disadvantages so far are the capacity of the rooms, which stands at 5,000 users. Also, as previously mentioned, there have been privacy issues. At first, the concern revolved around the recording of all conversations and whether the audio was kept for long. The most recent issue was the spread of personal information of 1.3 million users in a popular hacker forum. When this news struck, Clubhouse released a statement saying it had not been breached or hacked. “The data referred to is all public profile information from our app, which anyone can access via the app or our API (application programming interface)," reported by Business Insider. Paul Prudhomme, Analyst at security intelligence company IntSights, mentioned that this sort of leak should concern the company and the users because the exposed data could be used to attack companies through their employees' information. 

Meanwhile, Facebook has kept its hands full developing an alternative called Hotline, which seeks to attract Clubhouse users by adding new functionalities. The idea is to have a combination of Instagram Lives and Clubhouse, according to Marketing and Ecommerce MX. The main difference is that Hotline will transform these forums into kind of a live transmission. In the case of this app, there will be no invite needed but users will have to log in with a Twitter profile. There are also other small differences like the capability to use emojis and reactions to maintain the chat interactive. 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
BBC, Milenio, Business Insider, Marketing and Ecommerce MX
Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst