Facebook has finally launched Collab, its app for making collaborative music videos available to the public. This comes after a private beta testing earlier in the year.
The app is the latest project released by Facebook’s internal R&D group, which tests Facebook’s new ideas for the social media space.
However, this new app has similar features to TikTok’s new duets and stitches features, which allow users who don’t know each other to combine each other’s content into their own.
Did Facebook copy TikTok?
The similarity between Facebook’s Collab and TikTok’s Duets features sounds like a recurring tune of allegations that Facebook copies and expands ideas by rivals. However, these allegations are not without basis.
Over the years, Facebook has allegedly swiped several nifty ideas from Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging platform.
In 2019, Facebook announced that it would be betting big on private messaging and protected communications for its billions of users. However, this feature was first employed by Snapchat.
Most recently, Facebook-owned Instagram appeared to have lifted Snapchat’s Stories idea by creating its own Instagram Stories.
Facebook’s latest foray into the short video space with Collab appears to be another copy. Although there are no official comments to back this deduction, the truth remains that TikTok did it first.
However, looking at the features, the Collab app is better and has more upgraded features when it comes to music collaboration. Below are some of its features.
Collab app is a combination of short-form videos but with a direct focus on music.
It has a “collab” feature that consists of a selection of three 15-second independent videos, stacked on top of each other, that play in sync. For example, a collab could consist of a singer, drummer and a guitarist playing alongside each other in their respective videos.
When launched on any device, Collab presents you with an endless scrolling feed of these “collabs,” which you can swipe through to find one you want to join or mix.
You can either create a collab by playing along with someone else’s video or swipe on one of the three rows to choose a different video to slot into the mix from those available.
The mechanics embedded in Collab could, in the future, allow for different types of mashed up contents like videos that include dance or humour. But for now, Brittany Mennuti, Collab Product lead, says the app is focused on music.
The app doesn’t have a direct integration to Facebook. However, the videos you create in Collab can be exported to other places through the iOS share, meaning you can publish to Facebook, Instagram Story or even to rival TikTok.
The export will be watermarked to allow for attribution as the video is more widely distributed.
Collab takes on TikTok
With its launch, Collab takes on TikTok, Instagram’s Reels and Snap’s Spotlight in the short-form video space. How Collab will fair with its current independence from the main Facebook app, however, remains to be seen.
In retrospect, Collab comes at a time when people have been forced to find new forms of entertainment with fewer physical live concerts caused by the pandemic.
One of the musicians who Beta tested the app earlier in the year, Indie pop artist, Morgxn, revealed that despite the lockdown Collab helped his song “Wonder” reach 43 million streams.
Like it did for Morgxn, the new norm could push an increase in users for the app. Collab is currently live on the App Store in the U.S.
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