Facebook is testing Hotline, a Q&A app that’s a bit like Clubhouse, but with video. A real-estate investor hosted the app’s first live session.

mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook is testing a potential competitor to the audio-only app Clubhouse. It’s called Hotline.
  • Hotline lets people chat to their audience through livestreamed video, instead of just audio.
  • Hotline hosted its first Q&A livestream on Wednesday with real-estate investor Nick Huber.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook is testing a new app called Hotline, which is similar to the invite-only audio platform Clubhouse, but allows people to use video as well as audio to chat to their audience.

The social media giant’s experimental app development branch, the NPE Team, launched Hotline in the US for beta testing on Wednesday, TechCrunch first reported. It’s not currently available in the UK.

Hotline can be accessed via its website – there’s no app version available for smartphones yet. The website requires users to sign in via their Twitter account, rather than their Facebook account, then leave their name on a waiting list.

In contrast to audio-only Clubhouse, Hotline users can use videos and livestreams with a Q&A feature to chat to their audience, a bit like live videos on Instagram, which Facebook owns. Hotline users watching a session can ask questions through text or audio.

Clubhouse, reportedly valued at $4 billion, holds conversation rooms, and users ask questions by tapping the “raise hand” button and speaking.

TechCrunch reported that sessions on Hotline were recorded, a feature not available on Clubhouse. Insider has reached out to Facebook for more information.

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The layout of the two apps is also different. Hotline separates listeners into those that are asking questions and those who are just watching the session. Clubhouse divides the listeners into those following the speakers and “others in the room.”

Hotline hosted its first Q&A livestream with real-estate investor Nick Huber on Wednesday, where he spoke about finance skills in the real estate industry, TechCrunch reported.

The app is being led by Erik Hazzard, who began working at Facebook after selling his app “tbh” to the social-media giant in 2017.

Read the original article on Business Insider