Facebook launches a new music-making app called “Collab” that is presently available in beta only for iOS users. It brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music. The app has been developed by Facebook’s internal R&D Group, NPE team. The app’s launch comes just after the Tuesday launch of the group audio calling app, CatchUp.
In Collab, creators can either record their musical arrangement or swipe to discover arrangements to build a composition or a “collab.” While there are some elements of TikTok’s duets in this idea, the difference is that all videos posted to Collab can be mixed and matched with others. TikTok, meanwhile, allows creators to control who can duet with them.
Also, Collab is only designed for making original music videos for the time being, which sets it apart from other video apps — including TikTok, Dubsmash, Triller, and more, which have users creating content for the music from popular songs available via an in-app catalog.
You don’t necessarily have to be a gifted musician to publish to Collab. You could participate by doing something simple — like banging on a child’s xylophone, beating a tambourine, pulling on a roll of tape, tapping a glass bottle, or even just tapping your foot. Musicians could then use that video alongside their own content to build their “collab.”
The collabs can only be up to 15 seconds in length, as this is not intended to be a professional music-making platform, but rather one that’s used for fun and experimentation. Once users have created a collab, they can publish it for others to watch in the app’s feed or to further remix. However, the underlying music itself cannot be remixed — only the videos.
The resulting collab can also be published to other social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook Stories, and more. The app uses the iOS Share Sheet, so that means it could even export to TikTok — in other words, it’s not a direct answer to TikTok but a way to capitalize on the larger network of video creation tools that are emerging because of TikTok’s growth.