Facebook explores release of more viral apps

Facebook is still trying to figure out how to make hit apps outside of its core service. The social network announced that it's forming a new group called "NPE," which will work on experimental apps "focused on giving people entirely new experiences for building community...


Facebook is still trying to figure out how to make hit apps outside of its core service.

The social network announced that it's forming a new group called "NPE," which will work on experimental apps "focused on giving people entirely new experiences for building community."

It's not clear how large the new team is, or how often new apps will be released, but Facebook said in a statement that all of NPE's projects will launch with “NPE Team, from Facebook” branding (NPE stands for "New Product Experimentation.")

"This is a way for Facebook to develop new types of experiences for people and to try different ideas by creating small, focused apps in order to see whether people find certain features useful or engaging," the company wrote, noting it anticipates "many failures" along the way.

Facebook has long (and unsuccessfully) experimented with standalone apps with the hope it could one day produce a viral hit separate from its core services. In 2013, the company launched a team dedicated to just such apps, called Creative Labs. Creative Labs launched a handful of apps before folding in 2015.

The company has also tried its hand at apps built on top of Messenger, and a number of Snapchat knockoffs aimed at teens, which also proved unsuccessful. The company also launched, and shuttered, a House Party clone called Bonfire, and currently runs a TikTok-like app called Lasso.

Facebook's track record with new apps is fairly underwhelming at best. But the company has obviously decided it's important to keep trying. Facebook notes that these side projects can influence product changes in their main apps, even if the original idea is unsuccessful on its own.

Facebook spent years copying Snapchat before it ultimately succeeded with Instagram Stories. These NPE experiments may not ever amount to much, but if it can come up with even one hit, it could all be worth it to Facebook.

Source: mashable



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