That’s it ! Facebook didn’t really wait very long to launch a new app to compete with Clubhouse, the app that is making noise in 2021. Its name? Hotline. But the social network offers much more …

A new application that brings together several features

After announcing it last March, Facebook is testing Hotline with some users, a new web application that brings together features from Instagram Live and Clubhouse. It allows creators to speak to their audience and answer their questions via text and audio. The plus compared to Clubhouse? Creators can turn on their cameras.

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

Social networks have therefore not hesitated to take the plunge also by launching similar applications, such as Spaces at Twitter, Voice Chat 2.0 at Telegram and now Hotline at Facebook.

A product of questions and answers

The latter launched this question-and-answer product, which combines audio with text and video elements, to the New Product Experimentation Team (NPE). Like other social audio apps and features, Hotline presents hosts at the top of the screen on mobile and on the left side on the desktop. The listeners are separate: those who watch and those who actively participate by asking questions.

Facebook offers more control and interactivity for participants. As questions are asked, they participants can proceed to a voting system to essentially determine the order in which the questions will be answered. Participants can also respond to questions with emojis (applause, fire, heart, laughter, surprise, and thumbs up).

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

Finally, compared to the Clubhouse, Hotline events are recordable, giving it a slightly more professional tone compared to its competition.