Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team has launched its new application Hotline in public beta testing. Hotline is the latest experiment from Facebook’s internal R&D group and it is a mashup between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.
The new experiment feature allows creators to speak to an audience who can ask questions through either text or audio. Creators also have the option of turning on their cameras for the event.
According to the report from TechCrunch, Facebook mentioned that the aim of Hotline is to help people expand their professional skills or finances.
It takes inspiration from Clubhouse, not only in the feature but also user interface. However, it does change things up like separating listeners that are just tuning in and asking questions. In addition, listeners can upvote or downvote questions. This helps creators to choose which question to answer next and pull the listener that asked the question onto the stage area. Listeners can also react via emojis while questions are asked and answered.
Hosts or creators are also given full control over the experience, being able to remove inappropriate questions from the queue or remove people from the session.
Events on the app are also recorded, a notable difference between Hotline and Clubhouse. Hosts receive two recordings of the session – an mp3 and a mp4.
Just recently, Discord unveiled a similar feature called Stage Channels for community servers.
Unfortunately as of writing this, Hotline is unavailable in the Philippines.