Facebook’s experimental app division has a new program out today called Collab that promises to deliver a new approach to collaborative music making. The app, launching as an invite-only beta on iOS, is from Facebook’s NPE division. If it already in that brief description sounds like another swing at the cultural and creative juggernaut that is TikTok, that is because it is.
Collab’s primary pitch is that you can create short-form videos split into three simultaneous sources so you can perform a single song by playing three different instruments and stitching it all together.Or you and one or two other friends can collaborate together by each supplying one of three parts. It really sounds good.
Here’s the real TikTok-style feature: these videos, for now, can only be posted publicly to the Collab feed, where any other user can use it to create a video of their own. Let say for example you like one person’s guitar part and another’s vocals. You can put your own beat over it with a virtual drum pad on your iPhone and make a whole new song. According to Facebook, you cant remix the underlying music and everyone whose parts are used in a new Collab post get properly credited. You also won’t be able to just use other people’s parts to create a new song. That means you’ll have to record something new to contribute yourself.
Facebook also says that you will still be able to share them to other platforms, like Instagram but for that to actually happen you need to post it publicly on Collab. The American Company also said that there won’t be a “save to camera roll” option for getting the videos off Collab, at least for the moment.
Facebook said it expedited the release of an in-progress version of Collab to give people a creative outlet during the Pandemic, hence the invite-only beta of Collab, an iOS app that brings together creators and fans to create, watch and mix and match original videos, starting with music. “Digital spares can connect us when we can’t be together in person, and Collab is a new way to create togetherness,” a company spokesperson spoke.
The entire point of the NPE division is to experiment and move quickly with new app ideas to see which might stick. If Collab proves successful in the music realm, it may grow organically as a powerful set of tools for other media formats too. Well Facebook doesn’t yet know what exactly a new community might do with the ability to use and remix content so freely.