Facebook‘s internal R&D team has launched their latest app, Hotline, to the public for beta testing. The app is described as a crossover between the invite-only audio chat room app, Clubhouse, and Instagram Live.
Hotline allows creators to speak to an audience, who is allowed to pose questions either through audio or text. However, different from Clubhouse, creators can opt to turn on their cameras for the event. The new app is said to have taken inspiration for Clubhouse. Original Clubhouse users will even find the interface familiar to the app, or other audio-only social networks.
The first creator to give the app a try was real estate investor Nick Huber. Huber is apparently one of Facebook’s target Hotline creators since the tech giant wants to market the app to people who are interested in investing or their own personal/professional development. Similar to the other audio-only social networks, anyone can listen to the discussions by simply logging in. Audience members will also be able to downvote or upvote questions from a the list. The creator of the room has sole control over choosing which questions to answer next. The creator also has the option of pulling the questioner to center stage, sparking a more intimate opportunity for a conversation. So far, listeners can only appear on stage in audio only, but the video component is expected to be enabled soon.
Sessions will also be recorded on both audio and video files, allowing creators to have the opportunity to upload to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other networks.
As it stands now, anyone in the U.S. can join Hotline and there is currently no limit on the number of listeners.