Voice-based social media platform Clubhouse is kind of setting the internet on fire right now, with every other platform and their mothers looking to get in on the same craze. Facebook is the latest social media giant to join the party, though news that it was working on a similar feature specifically for Messenger Rooms came out in February. This is something different, though…
I know when that Hotline bling…
The feature is called Hotline, and before you get overexcited you should know that it’s only an experiment for now. Facebook’s NPE (New Product Experiment) team threw Hotline into public beta testing yesterday, sans fanfare. And though it *ahem* borrows a few familiar aspects from its competitors, Hotline has a few tricks up its sleeve to keep it fresh.
Notably, though its not up and running in the beta, Hotline does offer video streaming, though the bulk of streams will still focus on conversations between a circular icons talking to each other. TechCrunch says the feature has a distinctly Q & A feel to it, with users typing out questions in chat. Hosts then pick and choose which questions to answer and invite listeners on stage when their question gets dealt with. As this conversation goes on other listeners can react using emojis.
Hosts have the reigns through it all, and are able to delete inappropriate questions and even boot people out of the chat if they want. During the beta Facebook is doing some moderating too.
Hotline also automatically records streams for the hosts, unlike Clubhouse, which is useful if hosts want to upload their chats to other platforms or just keep track of what they were discussing.
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not Hotline makes it out of beta at the moment. Curiously, users currently sign in to Hotline using their Twitter accounts. A little strange considering the fact that Twitter has their own take on the audio stream format.