Join the club: Facebook launches live audio chat product testing on social media news

Following the success of the audio chat service Clubhouse, Facebook and Twitter are testing their live audio products.

Facebook Inc. has begun public testing of a new app dubbed the hotline, where creators can talk and ask questions directly from listeners.

This Q&A product combines audio with text and video elements and comes as a test of social media platforms with a multitude of new live audio features.

The success of the invited-only, year-old app Clubhouse, which reported 10 million active weekly users, demonstrated the potential for audio chat services, especially during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Twitter Inc. is testing its audio feature spaces, and Facebook is also doing fantastic with a live audio room offer in its messenger room.

The hotline comes from a small group within Facebook called the New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, which is equipped to create small social media applications from scratch.

‘Knowledge Expert’

A Facebook spokesperson said on Wednesday that the hotline’s target was “knowledge experts” who could share advice on financial matters such as finance or health. He said the team was exploring how users’ questions could be “improved”.

Clubhouse, the only invited, year-old app, reported 10 million active weekly users, demonstrating the potential for audio chat services. [File: Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo]

The application currently has no audience size limit. The hosts were able to remove the questions from the queue and Facebook said it was initially controlling inappropriate content in these tests.

Hotline events are recorded automatically and hosts are given a copy of the recording. The spokesman said it was too early to say how the creators could make money from the hotline event.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently attended a clubhouse event to talk about the importance of the creator’s economy.

NPE Super is also testing a video app that allows users to meet influencers, ask their questions and capture a “selfie” photo at live events. The team had earlier tested an audio-calling application called Catchup, which was discontinued last year.

The hotline is not currently a standalone app, and Facebook says it is testing various authentication methods to allow users to join events via Twitter, Facebook-owned Instagram or by providing a phone number.

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