Facebook’s NPE Team rolling out yet another app Collab, where creators can either record their own musical arrangement or swipe to discover arrangements to build a composition, or a “collab.” While there are some elements of TikTok’s duets in this idea, the difference is that all videos posted to Collab can be mixed and matched with others.
Collab is only designed for making original music videos for the time being, which sets it apart from TikTok, Dubsmash, or Triller, collabs can only be up to 15 seconds in length, as this is not intended to be a professional music-making platform, but rather one that’s used for fun and experimentation.
Once users have created a collab, they can publish it for others to watch in the app’s feed or to further remix. However, the underlying music itself cannot be remixed — only the videos. The resulting collab can also be published to other social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook Stories, and more. There are a number of existing apps that allow users to collaborate with others on music, including by mixing sounds, making recordings, and arranging compositions.
Collab is the latest in a series of releases from Facebook’s R&D group, NPE Team, which so far has launched a small handful of apps, including meme creator Whale, conversational app Bump, music app Aux, video app Hobbi, couples app Tuned, Apple Watch app Kit, and just yesterday, group calling app CatchUp. (Bump has since shut down.) Prior to CatchUp, apps were launched with little fanfare but now Facebook is publically announcing their debuts and answering questions.
That’s a change in strategy for the team, and one that could point Facebook’s desire to capitalize on users’ hunger for new social and entertainment experiences while stuck at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Collab is available as an invite-only beta on iOS in the U.S. and Canada.