Facebook Is Officially Beta Testing Hotline, a Clubhouse-Inspired Audio Q&A Feature

Illustration for article titled Facebook Is Officially Beta Testing Hotline, a Clubhouse-Inspired Audio Q&A Feature
photo: loic venance / contributor (getty images)

f’bok on wed ran its 1st public β- test of hotline — a web-based q&a platform that seems like twas dreamed up as the platform’s answer to the current voice chat app craze.

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+ specifically, hotline is designed to function as a sort of ♥ child tween instagram live and clubhouse, tekcrunch reprts: creators will address an audience of usrs, who will then be able to respond by asking ?s with either text or audio. unlike clubhouse — which is strictly an audio-1-ly platform — hotline usrs will ‘ve the option to turn their cameras on during events, adding a visual element to an otherwise voice-dominated experience.

hotline is currently bein’ developed by f’bok’s npe team, which handles experimental app development within the company, and is bein’ led by eric hazzard, who created the positivity-focused q&a app tbh that f’bok acquired b4 pivoting hotline.

a public livestream of the app’s functionality on wed was led by real estate investor nick huber, who spoke bout industrial real estate as a 2nd income stream — which ‘d give you a pretty good idea bout exactly wha’ type of  “creators” hotline ll'be attempting to net once it’s live. close beholdrs of the stream will ‘ve noticed that hotline’s interface closely resembles clubhouse’s, in that the speaker’s icon is situated atop or astride an “audience,” which is popul8d by listeners whose profiles appear belo the livestream (onna desktop version, the audience is off to the side).

where the app differs from clubhouse is in its functionality for “audience” members, who will see the ?s they ask appear in a list atta top of the stream which other usrs can then choose to upvote or downvote. the creator will also ‘ve the option to pull listeners onto the “stage” zone to join them in a back and forth, which ll'be something closer to zoom in nature than its audio-1-ly forebears.

in a statement on wed, f’bok declined t'offer specific details bout a launch date for hotline, but said that developers ‘ve been encouraged to see how new multimedia features and formats “continue to help pplz connect and build community.”

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