Facebook’s internal R&D group, New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, has publicly launched Collab, an experimental music-making app after having just launched a new group audio calling app, CatchUp, on Tuesday. The focus in the Collab app is specifically on the concept of watching, mixing, and matching original videos together, beginning with music.
In Collab, users are allowed to combine up to three independent videos and create a short-form music video. The videos are posted on a public ‘collab’ feed, so you could also record one part, then combine it with one or two other parts that you find on the Collab feed that are recorded by other people. The ‘collab’ videos can only be up to 15 seconds in length, as this is more of a fun and experimentation app instead of a professional music-making platform.
Collab includes in-app tools to sync the parts together so you won’t have to worry about lining all the videos up. Its App Store page’s info reads, “We make sure that as you swipe, the videos play at exactly the right moment to be in sync.”
While there are some elements of TikTok’s duets in this idea of the Collab app, the difference is that while TikTok allows creators to control who can duet with them, all videos posted to Collab can be mixed and matched with others without the level of control on TikTok. Additionally, what sets Collab apart from other apps, including TikTok, Dubsmash, and more is that it is only designed for making original music videos for the time being. In contrast, the other apps have users creating content to the music from popular songs available via an in-app catalog.
Facebook says it has hurried the launch of the app in light of so many people being sheltered in place around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Digital spaces can connect us when we can’t be together in person, and Collab is a new way to create together,” a Facebook company spokesperson said about the launch according to TechCrunch.
You can export the finished products of your combination to your Instagram story (as well as other platforms, including TikTok) via iOS share sheet, even though the app isn’t directly integrated with Facebook (yet, at least).
Collab is available as an invite-only beta on the Apple Store in the U.S. and Canada.