Hotjar vs. Microsoft Clarity vs. Mouseflow

What are the differences and how do these platforms compare?

As Microsoft introduced Clarity in October 2020 with session replay and heat maps absolutely for FREE, users started getting curious about whether it’s worth using the paid tools, like Hotjar or Mouseflow (even though both have FREE plans), or not. We’re here to give you a brief overview of the features across all 3 services.

In short: you get what you pay for.

Even though free sounds enticing, it comes at the expense of your time and limitations. How much can you do with hours of recordings that are difficult to sort or navigate through? Hotjar and Mouseflow have solved it for their users firstly providing a clear overview of recordings (rather than a wall of URLs with text labels) and the possibility to star, share or comment on any particular recording. Mouseflow goes the extra mile for its users and enables you to tag recordings with custom variables alongside custom tags, so your insights are based on what matters to your business.

When it comes to heatmaps, Clarity can offer only Click/Tap heatmaps (the scroll heat map is not available yet), limiting your research to the elements users click.

Clarity’s features are limited to Session Replay and Heatmaps. Hotjar and Mouseflow take your website optimization seriously and enable you to go deeper into your research. These features vary on each service: Hotjar has recently removed their conversion funnels and form analytics tools, leaving only the feedback campaigns. Mouseflow provides you the whole range of tools - Session Recording, Heatmaps, Conversion Funnels, Form Analytics, and Feedback. Plus, Recording all visitors, without sampling, enables us to deliver reliable funnels and form analytics without missing a single user, as well as to run a feedback campaign with high precision.

In the end, session recording and heatmap services all boil down to how much insight you can get from all this data. All platforms are capable of tracking friction events, to a different extent: all platforms support custom tags, while Clarity and Mouseflow both track click-rage and Javascript errors, only Mouseflow points to where exactly in the recording a given error occurred and which click on the heatmap caused it. Moreover, Mouseflow helps you save time and tells you where to focus your optimization efforts, by combining and summarising various friction events into a single friction score that is automatically assigned to each recording.

Below you'll find a detailed feature comparison of the platforms:

Click/Tap Heatmaps
Scroll Heatmaps
Movement Heatmaps
Attention Heatmaps
Live heatmaps
Geo Heatmaps
Built automatically
Can download
Overview of all heatmaps
session recording
Recording all user sessions right out-of-the box, without requiring further actions
Overview of recordings
Friction score
Friction events
Recording's timeline with pages and times spent on each
Sharing option
Download/Export Session Recordings
Custom variables
Custom tags
form analytics and conversion funnels
Form Analytics (Signup, check out etc.)
Conversion funnels
View recordings of user who drop out of the funnel
feedback collection
Visual feedback
Phone Support
Custom Development
HTTPS/SSL/AJAX Support (Native)
Click rage detection