The latest in social networking is a mix of legacy apps, which surf social audio with Q&A sessions and live video.
Hotline , the new Facebook appwhich (still) copies Clubhouse. © Facebook
NPE Team, Facebook's R&D group, launched on Wednesday Hotline , an experience largely inspired by the application Clubhouse , with functionality similar to a webinar or a Twitch stream, with also the possibility to broadcast live video, as during a Zoom meeting.
Question-and-answer sessions by audio, with or without the camera
The Hotline application, available for the moment only on the web and in beta version , allows creators to interact with their audience. Comme on the voice chat social network, hosts can take members of the audience to a virtual stage to ask questions live. They can ask their questions by audio or text - which Clubhouse does not offer. Hotline's bonus: creators have the choice of activating or not their camera, or of remaining only on an audio broadcast.
Among the features offered, we also find:
- scheduling presentations with integrated question-and-answer sessions,
- an audience voting system to know which questions hosts will answer,
- recording events in audio or video format,
- the possibility of reacting to exchanges with emojis: applause, fire, heart, laughter, surprise and thumbs up.
Note that the hosts keep control over the exchanges with their audience: inappropriate questions, proposed in the queue, can bebe deleted and trolls rejected from the Hotline session. The application is free and does not currently impose any limit on the size of the audience in the sessions.
A more professional and less spontaneous application than Clubhouse
The Hotline project is led by Erik Hazzard, software engineering manager at Facebook within the NPE Team, who in the past created multimedia products such as CatchUp, Venue , Collab or even BARS. Erik Hazzard is notably at the origin of the question-and-answer app tbh, acquired by Facebook in 2017. His expertise in this area has thus enabled Hotline to develop, by giving it a more professional dimension and less spontaneous than Clubhouse, thanks to greater control over the hosts.
While Hotline uses certain codes, the application in vogue on social audio, included in the Twitter Spaces and soon to be copied by LinkedIn , it differs from the new audio feature developed by Facebook , which looks like an extension of Messenger Rooms with dedicated audio rooms. Hotline is not yet available in France.