Facebook is testing Hotline, the new competitor to Clubhouse?

and that is all ! Facebook really didn’t wait too long in 2021 to launch a new application to compete with the noisy app Clubhouse. Its name? Hotline. But the social network offers a lot …

A new application that brings together many features

After announcing it last March, Facebook tested Hotline, a new web application that brings together the features of Instagram Live and Clubhouse, in April 2021 with some users. It allows creators to talk to their audience and answer their questions via text and audio. Plus compared to Clubhouse? Creators can turn on their cameras.

The success of Clubhouse, an invitation-only application, with its 13 million downloads in a year has demonstrated the potential of audio chat services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So social networks have not hesitated to take advantage of this by launching similar applications, such as space on twitter, Voice Chat 2.0 on Telegram and now Hotline on Facebook.

a product of questions and answers

The latter introduced the New Product Experimentation Team (NPE) to this question-and-answer product, which combines audio with text and video elements, such as TikTok’s new question-and-answer feature. Like other social audio apps and features, Hotline presents hosts at the top of the screen on mobile and left on desktop. Audiences are different: what they see and those who actively participate by asking questions.

Facebook provides more control and interactivity for participants. As soon as questions are asked, those participants can proceed to the voting system to basically determine the order in which the questions will be answered. Participants can also answer questions with emoji (applause, fire, heart, laughter, surprise and thumbs up).

Final moderation of questions is left to the hosts who can remove inappropriate questions, or even remove participants from the conversation.

Finally, compared to clubhouse, hotline programs tend to be recordable, giving it a slightly more professional tone than its competition.

What does a Facebook hotline look like?

Still in the testing phase, the hotline looks like this:

  • At the top on mobile (or left on desktop), there’s a speaker section where the host of the event is presented with a round profile icon or live video stream;
  • Below (or on the computer side), there are event listeners.

The auditor section is divided into:

  • People who are just watching the event are represented by their profile icon;
  • Questioners.

At the top of this section, you are presented with lists of questions that users have asked, which others can vote for or against. The creator can then look through the section to see what questions to answer next and drag the audience onto the stage to interact with them.

Facebook hasn’t made an official announcement on the hotline launch. But its purpose is very clear. A spokesperson said:

“With Hotline, we hope to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&A can help people learn from experts in areas such as job skills, just as they help those experts grow their businesses. ”

At the moment, the hotline is not yet a standalone application. Facebook said it is testing various authentication methods so that users can join events on Twitter, Facebook-owned Instagram or by providing phone numbers.

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