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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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Source:: Businessinsider – Technology


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