Facebook killed off several of its stand-alone applications over the past few years, but if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
The social network formed an NPE Team—the NPE stands for New Product Experimentation—with the aim of creating new consumer-focused apps and features.
Facebook said in a blog post that once apps are developed and released, they will be branded as “NPE Team, from Facebook,” and they will be available via the traditional outlets: the iTunes App Store, Google Play and the web.
The social network added that the purpose behind the initiative is to determine whether people find features useful or engaging, which could help inform its product strategy going forward, adding, “We decided to create this separate developer name to help set the appropriate expectations with people that, unlike Facebook’s family of apps, NPE Team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they’re not useful to people. We expect many failures. We also want to minimize disruption to the billions of people who use Facebook apps every day.”
On the data front, not all NPE Team apps will require Login With Facebook, and Facebook stressed that users will have full control over their personal data. NPE Team apps that use Login With Facebook will appear in the social network’s Apps and Websites section.
All NPE Team apps will be governed by the social network’s terms of service and data policy, as well as supplemental terms from the team that will be posted in the coming weeks, before any apps are shipped.
Facebook said in its blog post, “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.”
Stand-alone apps that have been shuttered by Facebook include:
- The Instagram Direct messaging app, in May.
- LOL, a meme and video app for teens it had been beta-testing, in February.
- Photo-syncing app Moments, also in February.
- Moves, Hello and tbh in July 2018.
- Lifestage and Groups in August 2017.
- Paper in June 2016.
- Slingshot, Rooms and Riff, along with the Facebook Creative Labs unit, in December 2015.
- Poke and Camera in April 2014.