Facebook launched an experimental online forum called Hotline on Wednesday, an attempt by the social media giant to keep up with the live audio trend made popular by Clubhouse.
Social media mainstays are scrambling to keep users from being drawn to online audio-only rivals.
The Facebook app is essentially a spin on Reddit and Clubhouse’s Ask Me Anything sessions, the audio-only social media sensation that started a year ago and exploded during the pandemic.
Hotline offers users a mix of voice, text and video options to participate in online chats with hosts.
Users can ask questions in writing, which is not possible on Clubhouse. Speakers, on the other hand, can choose who to invite “on stage” to speak.
“With Hotline, we hope to understand how live interactive multimedia Q&A can help people learn from experts in areas such as job skills, just as they help those experts grow their business,” he said. TUSEN a spokesperson for Facebook.
Headliners in the sessions will have the option to turn on their web cameras to be seen, and will also be able to remove abusive comments from text chats, Facebook said, confirming a previous report on the TechCrunch website.
According to the TechCrunch report, Facebook employees will moderate hotline events and kick anyone who breaks the rules they set for what’s acceptable.
The spokesperson said Facebook had tested several other platforms.
These include a question-and-answer product called Venue and collaborative music apps called Collab and BARS, which are more akin to TikTok. However, testing on an audio calling app called CatchUp ended last year.
Facebook has increased its live video and audio capabilities on its main site and sister site Instagram following the success of the Zoom video conferencing service and the Clubhouse.
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