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App Store News: Facebook testing Hotline app to rival Clubhouse

Facebook is testing a new web application that brings together features from Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

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Dubbed Hotline, the feature lets creators talk to their audiences and answer their questions via text and audio.

In comparison to Clubhouse, creators can turn on their cameras.

Among the first to test the tool was Nick Huber, a real-estate investor, who helps people foster their professional skills on the social network by sharing his insights into investing.

Hotline resembles Clubhouse and similar audio apps like Twitter Spaces. It has a speaker area and a live video stream icon. Event listeners are shown below.

Listeners are sectioned by those who are watching and those who are actively taking part by asking questions.

At the top, the questions can be viewed which other users may up- or down-vote.

Although guest speakers can currently only join a conversation via audio, a video icon already insists which will soon be activated and allow event organizers to toggle between themselves and the video of active participants.

Ultimately, as with other apps of this type, hosts have all the control over the conversation. They can block inappropriate content and questions and remove listeners.

Facebook employees will intervene and remove those violating its community standards.

Compared to Clubhouse, Hotline events are recordable which lends it a slightly more professional tone than its casual competition.

“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “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.”

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