bookmark_borderFacebook launches a new Collab music collaboration app as it strives to keep abreast of growing trends.

As we noted yesterday, the Facebook NPE experimental team certainly does not waste time testing new tools, as it seeks to take advantage of the growing changes in the social sphere.

After launching the new CatchUp group phone calling application in the US earlier this week, the NPE team presented their latest experiment, a music collaboration application called Collab, which allows users to watch, record and remix. 15 second videos.

As Facebook explained:

“Music is one of the most powerful creative outputs. With Collab, we use technology to help people discover creative superpowers by collaborating in creating original music videos from anywhere in the world. In light of so many people living around the world, we have accelerated this release. “

As already noted, Collabs allows users to mix three 15-second video clips to essentially create new music. Users can upload their own short recordings or scroll through them to discover existing clips, and then combine them to form new compositions.

“By creating a collaboration, you can publish it so that others can watch, mix and match it. You can also share your or other people’s creations on Instagram, Facebook Stories or any other platform with just a few taps. ”

A key element of the application is that users must download each individual segment, which other users can then search for using the swipe function when they begin to create their own fast track. In this sense, Facebook seems to be trying to use TikTok’s remix behavior, where duets and hashtag issues became central to interacting on the platform.

Indeed, the task of the Facebook NPE group — or “Experimenting with a New Product” —is to find ways to tap into growing usage trends to catch the next TikTok or Houseparty before it gets support in a competitor’s application. Until now, NPE’s experiments included creating memes, sharing music, and various options for private chat, which corresponded to increased user behavior, especially during COVID-19 locks.

Collabs seems to target TikTok’s engagement behaviors specifically, albeit more creatively, without engaging popular tracks to highlight trends.

Will it be effective? This is obviously impossible to say, but you would think that Collabs would have a more attractive niche, while a limit of 15 seconds also limits the ability to create real new tracks as such. But, nevertheless, this can be a fun option, and since more people are looking for distractions during COVID-19, it may appear just at the right time. The ability to share your creations through stories also provides a wider reach and adds potential for wider use in Facebook applications.

But then again, not everyone can access Collabs at the moment. Currently, the application is available by invitation only (you can join the waiting list here), although Facebook says it seeks to speed up access:

Facebook also warns that Collabs can be a little embarrassing as they work through the initial breaks.

And again, it’s interesting to note where Facebook looks in terms of growing trends and how it is trying to capitalize on the behavior popularized in other applications. So far, all NPE experiments seem rather limited in scope, but perhaps this is part of the process. Perhaps if Facebook can identify a few more niche use cases, along with the following key usage trends, it will be able to add tools designed for such purposes to its various applications to suppress more forms of potential competition before they even get a chance to take a flight.

One thing is certain, they do not leave a stone unturned – the NPE team has released seven new applications over the past six months. This can definitely help keep Facebook on top of the social heap.

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bookmark_borderFacebook launches another new app, this time focused on participating in live events.

The Facebook NPE experimental team has released its eighth app – and the third this week – with a new side event tool called the Venue, which aims to increase the interaction potential when viewing in real time.

As Facebook explained:

“Despite the fact that viewers are attracted by a large number of simultaneous viewers, live broadcasts are still mostly viewed alone. Passionate fans are constantly looking for the best ways to interact with other fans and experts in their favorite events. The purpose of the event is to give fans an interactive second-screen experience supervised by experts and focused on key points of their favorite events.

It works so that for each live event of, say, the latest NASCAR race, Facebook will provide selected individuals, such as journalists, athletes and / or “fan analytics,” with their own “Place” in the app., This place will serve a center where users can access the thoughts and views of each commentator (you can see an example of these places in the first screenshot above).

“During the race they will give comments, ask interactive questions and polls, and also open short chats dedicated to specific moments of the race. Think of commentators as personal concierges of the main event. ”

Selected individuals will also be able to create “Moments” in their event streams focused on specific events:

“Fans will be notified whenever a new moment is created so that they can enter and leave the hall if they wish.”

The idea is that by providing alerts at certain times, fans can watch the event as usual, and then register when a discussion of trends occurs, which makes it easier to grasp the second screen.

The second view has become a key component of sports interaction – according to a previous Facebook study, about 94% of people now have a smartphone on hand while watching live TV. Social platforms have been trying for years to find a better way to use this use case, but so far none of them have been able to break into the correct formula that would better combine watching live TV with social media involvement.

In fact, Facebook was trying to better adapt to playing sports in real time back in 2016 with an option called “Sports Stadium” in its main application. The sports stadium has provided a specific center for each sporting event, from a range of leagues and competitions, allowing users to follow and discuss around each.

It was an attempt by Facebook to steal interaction with Twitter – while Facebook as a whole has more users, Twitter has become a key companion for real-time events, including sports, because of its real-time rate of fire.

But even Twitter could not maximize this interaction. With a large number of people discussing live events, including sports, Twitter sought to broadcast more live sports content, essentially combining the two elements into a single platform. However, despite the broadcast agreements with both the NFL and MLB, Twitter hasn’t come up with a more ideal format for combining broadcasts and tweets, and fans prefer to plunge into the real-time discussion of their choice, rather than say, see tweets on screen next to the main event.

Maybe Venues can do this – perhaps by providing a number of opinions from different commentators, looking from different angles, Venues will provide the best companion for watching live events, while Facebook also essentially recognizes that users don’t necessarily want to watch the event and interact with social content on one screen.

Could this provide Facebook with a new way to engage in live events?

Definitely now is the time. Although most sports are on hold (Facebook originally collaborated with NASCAR for Venues, one of the first sports to return during the pandemic), live viewing has increased by 50%, and more and more users are paying attention to several sports are available, and due to the fact that there will soon be even more opportunities for sports, the addition of a new way of viewing can help introduce new ways of viewing, providing another element of experience.

Perhaps with the right alternative commentators, with the right notifications and format, Venues really can be a great companion app that will finally let Facebook connect to live events. It can also be extended to concerts, festivals, news events, etc.

We will have to wait and see how it all ends, but it is clear that Facebook uses almost all the new trends and opportunities that it sees through its NPE team.

As already noted, this is the eighth new application from the Facebook team “New Product Experimentation” over the past six months, which emphasizes a more aggressive approach to dealing with potential competitors. In the past, Facebook has attracted the attention of apps like Snapchat, Houseparty, and TikTok. Facebook has always tracked to some extent these growing usage trends, but its new strategy suggests that it’s going to act this way at an early stage to strangle competitors before they can take hold – as opposed to releasing mimic functionality after they gained momentum.

Thus, most of these new applications are likely to fail – but Facebook only needs one to stop a potential rival. If, for example, Facebook launched Instagram Stories before Snapchat sees significant growth, Snapchat probably will never have a chance. Had Facebook released a multi-member video before Houseparty reached its first million users, perhaps it would have dominated this trend ahead of time.

Therefore, although most of these new applications are pretty niche, that’s the point – Facebook is looking for the next trend, the next niche for behavior, which will actually lead to another big shift before anyone else can benefit from it.

And on a Facebook scale, this is probably the only company that can release new applications at such a high speed. This will make it more difficult for another bidder to strike.

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