The web-based app can be described as a combination of Instagram Live and Clubhouse, allowing creators to speak to an audience who can then ask questions through text or voice.
However, unlike the Clubhouse, content makers can choose to turn cameras on for the event, rather than just being audio.
The new app is inspired by the rising social network, and the Hotline user interface looks familiar to anyone who has previously used Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, or any of the other audio-only social networks, when viewed on a mobile phone.
But there are also many differences between Hotline and current apps, such as Clubhouse, where the app encourages users to log in with Twitter and then verify their identity via SMS.
The service website is online now, but it only has a waiting list and application tool to host your own software.
Facebook created designs for the mobile versions of the app, although they do not appear to be available at this time.
The news that Facebook built its version of Clubhouse first appeared in February, although Hotline is said to be a different product from the competitor Clubhouse built by the team behind the video chatting platform Messenger Rooms.
Hotline works differently from Clubhouse and Spaces, allowing hosts to use video and schedule more formal presentations with built-in questions and answers, rather than the open-ended audio-only conversations that take place in the Clubhouse.
The app also allows hosts to record sessions in audio and video formats, with the host receiving after the event two session recordings One is in mp3 format, the other is in mp4 format.
The core component of Hotline’s Q&A includes hosts sending questions from the audience via text messages, while audience members can then vote on the questions they want answered and then respond to the ongoing conversation with emoji feedback.
Hosts can also bring members of the audience into the virtual theater to ask their questions directly and possibly participate in a longer conversation.
In this way, Hotline events appear to be designed more like a mix between a radio show and a live Twitch broadcast, in which the audience is asked to participate but control of the conversation remains constant with the host.
The hosts have full control over the experience, and can remove irrelevant questions from the queue or remove people from the session.
For initial tests, Facebook employees manage events and remove anyone who violates Facebook’s Community Standards, Terms of Service, Data Policy, or NPE Team’s supplemental terms.
“We hope to understand how interactive and direct multimedia questions and answers can help people learn from experts in areas such as professional skills,” Facebook said.