Facebook has launched public beta testing of a new Q&A application called Hotline, as reported by TechCrunch. Hotline is a mashup of Clubhouse and Instagram Live.
The web-based app allows creators to speak to an audience who can then ask questions by text or audio. Unlike Clubhouse, the host can remove inappropriate questions from the queue or remove people from their Hotline session.
For the initial tests, TechCrunch says, “Facebook employees will moderate events and remove anyone that violates Facebook’s Community Standards, Terms of Service, Data Policy, or the NPE Team’s Supplemental Terms.”
Facebook has been working on this project since at least February. In March, 9to5Mac reported on Facebook’s new “Live Audio” feature. This time, although Hotline resembles Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, it has video capabilities and a Q&A section, which look more professional than just a casual hangout.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook explained:
With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses. New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community.
As for now, Hotline doesn’t have an iPhone app, but this is in the works.The website, available for users in the US, is live now and allows sign-ins via Twitter, but it only has a waitlist and a tool for applying to host your own show.
You can visit the Hotline website here.