When it comes to Facebook and its family of companies, new features are regularly coming to the platform. At times however, the social media giants have been accused of launching features that… aren’t exactly the most original—particularly when it comes to the Instagram app. Sometimes, they offer a novel format that was introduced by someone else. Sometimes they offer near-identical features. And sometimes they just acquire the company.
There’s a new app that’s made its way onto the App Store and Play Store from Facebook, and it appears to have a similar target audience as popular social network Pinterest. It’s a photo-sharing app that, according to Facebook, helps to “organise your creative process” through a number of hobbies.
According to The Information, an “experimental” group from Facebook released Hobbi, that is meant to “help you document and remember the things you love to do”. The release has been a remarkably quietly conducted by Facebook (or FACEBOOK, in this case), and we haven’t caught wind of an official statement from Facebook just yet.
The Hobbi app was reportedly designed by a team within Facebook called “New Product Experimentation”—this team had the responsibility of creating new services to eventually be a part of Facebook’s family of platforms.
Unfortunately, the app does not appear to be available in Malaysia at the time of writing, and it’s only available in the U.S. and a few select countries, only on iOS. It seems likely that Facebook is waiting to gauge the success of Hobbi before possibly expanding its availability.
“In that sense, Hobbi is more like an editor and organizer than any sort of new social network.”
This isn’t the first time that Facebook’s experimental team has launched a new app, with 3 apps already made available—but seemingly, not in Malaysia. In an official statement on [email protected], Facebook said that the aim of the NPE team is to ship “entirely new experiences.”l, but also warned that apps that aren’t “useful” will be cut. Here’s the full statement:
“In the coming weeks, Facebook will begin to launch new consumer-focused apps under the developer name “NPE Team, from Facebook.” NPE Team apps will be aligned with Facebook’s mission of giving people the power to build community but will focus on shipping entirely new experiences. We decided to use this separate brand name to help set the appropriate expectations with users that NPE Team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they’re not useful to people.”
Perhaps a more probable outcome is Facebook takes the best aspects of the NPE team’s apps, and integrates them into one of the Facebook platforms: Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram.