For pretty much its entire history, Facebook has been afraid of losing touch with the kids.
Enter Facebook’s latest attempt to stay cool with younger folk:
The screenshots shown as above are from a new app called Whale. It is available to Canadian users via a company called New Product Experimentation (NPE Team LLC). Furthermore, it is actually part of Facebook experimental app division which is headed by former Vine GM Jason Toff. Whale allows users to create their own memes with simplified templates and tools.
Besides that, Whale is the latest app from NPE following on from music app AUX and chat app Bump. The new app was first reported by The Information.
The text below are the description of Whale in App Store.
“No distractions, no hidden subscription pricing. Use your own images or choose from our stock photo library and get creative with text, tools, effects, and more right inside the app.”
In order to use Whale, you need to choose an image that you desire as your template. You may use either from the stock library or your own album. Next, you can add text, emojis and filters to turn your image into a meme. Lastly, you can save and share the image to various social networks direct from the app.
The functionality is fairly basic, but it may work as a means to help more people get involved in meme trends. If Whale offers up the latest meme templates, and simple ways for users to add their own spin, that could come in handy, and it could gain traction among younger user groups.
The lists shown as below is Facebook previous youth app failures as an indicator of their enthusiasm for staying in touch with the next generation.
- Snapchat clone Poke (2012 – 2014)
- TikTok challenger Lasso (2018 -)
- Snapchat copy Slingshot (2014 – 2015)
- Cool kids app Lifestage (2016 – 2017)
- Houseparty replicant Bonfire (2017 – 2019)
- Snapchat messaging-like Threads (2019-)
Whale does not appear to have a direct comparison yet, though its likely aimed at the evolving tools of Giphy and or a range of other meme creation apps.
So will it work? As noted, it could have functional value, it could help more users lean into meme trends. It’s hard to say whether it’ll gain momentum, but Facebook will start by testing it out with Canadian users, then growing it from there if it makes sense.
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