Facebook’s experimental apps team, NPE, is launching a new app – and it’s focused on music.
The app is called Collab, and it’s launching today for iOS as an invitation-only beta that, in the team’s words, “brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music”.
The app is based around the idea of a ‘collab’ – a collage of three different videos that play in sync.
“With the app, you can create your own arrangement by adding in your own recording or by swiping and discovering an arrangement to complete your composition,” explained NPE’s announcement, promising that “no musical experience is required”.
The resulting videos can be published through Collab for other people to watch (but also mix themselves) and also shared to Instagram, Facebook Stories and other social media apps.
This isn’t ‘Facebook’s TikTok’ (although we’re sure some outlets will report it as such). It’s more focused around music creation as well as video.
That makes it interesting, although we’ll stress again the ‘experimental’ aspect. NPE has released a series of apps: just this year they have included group-call-coordinating app CatchUp; activity-sharing app Hobbi; meme-making app Whale; Apple Watch messaging app Kit; and a sharing app for couples called Tuned.
These apps are ways for Facebook to explore new creation and sharing tools without the big hoopla that would happen if they were introduced in its flagship apps. There’s no guarantee that NPE apps will be successful, nor that their features will ever be added to those bigger apps.
Even so, the sight of Facebook exploring music creation is very interesting, alongside its existing music-licensing deals covering use of copyrighted tracks in user-generated content across its apps family.
We can also imagine Collab being used for some interesting music campaigns by artists: for example to put music fragments out there for fans to play with.
For now, Collab is only available in the US and Canada, with a waiting list in operation for people who register here.