What is Facebook Music-Making App Collab? Collab, Facebook’s experimental app for making collaborative music videos, is today launching out of private beta testing with a public release on the App Store. The app is one of now many projects from Facebook’s internal R&D group, the NPE Team.
This tests new ideas that could ultimately influence Facebook’s next steps in social media. Collab itself first emerged in late May, as the pandemic forced users to stay home and find new ways to entertain themselves online.
For musicians, the pandemic has meant the lack of live concerts, which had been a key way they connected with fans. They, too, turned to online platforms to experiment with live-streamed concerts and jam sessions in order to keep those connections flowing. At the same time, short-form videos took off, led by TikTok, which also includes collaborative features like duets and stitches, which allow users who don’t know each other to incorporate each other’s content into their own.
Facebook Music-Making App Collab
In the app, a “collab” is 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 guitarist, drummer, and a singer, each playing alongside each other in their respective videos. Users can either create a collab by playing along with someone else’s video or, if you lack musical experience, you can just swipe on one of the three rows to choose a different video to slot into the mix from those available.
When you first open Collab, you’re presented with an endless scrolling feed of these “collabs,” which you can swipe through to find one you want to join or mix. As you discover musicians you like to play along with, you can favorite them in the app to be notified when they post new clips. This also personalizes the main feed.
Get Started With Facebook Music-Making App Collab
During the beta, Facebook made improvements to the app’s audio-syncing capabilities and other technical aspects. The app itself will handle the complexities of audio and video syncing. This happened by offering in-app tools that can nudge your clip back into alignment when you’re off, so the resulting “collab” will be perfectly synced. Facebook also tested Collab with dozens of headsets and hardware configurations to optimize Collab for a variety of different setups. Users can now even use external audio interfaces to bring music from electronic instruments, like keyboards, guitars, and drum kits into their recordings.
The app doesn’t offer a direct integration to Facebook. But the company notes that musicians are often using their bio to post links to their various social media presences. And this may include their Facebook or Instagram profiles or pages. However, the videos you create in Collab can be exported to other places through the iOS share, meaning you can publish to your Instagram Story or even to rival TikTok. The export will be watermarked to allow for attribution as the video is more widely distributed, too.
As it goes public, Facebook’s goal for Collab is to carve out a niche in the short-form video space. It offers something more than a TikTok clone, like Instagram’s Reels or Snap’s Spotlight. However, to what extent Collab would live on independently. If it succeeded, rather than being merged into one of Facebook’s larger products remains to be seen.
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