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The Meta-in NPE team continues to shift the focus with the shutdown of another experimental application


Meta continues to reformat its New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, which has so far worked on a variety of experimental applications, with the closure of another NPE project.

Sparked dating app, which allows users to hold 4-minute video chats with potential matches to better decide their suitability before moving forward, is the latest NPE app to be excluded from rotation as Meta seeks new ways to develop its tools.

Apparently, Sparked has never really caught on, and Meta is now reducing his losses and cutting off support for the project, assuming that all the knowledge will be integrated into his wider Facebook dating project.

Sparked users have been informed that the application will be shut down forever on January 20, and users will be able to download their data from the application by then.

As mentioned, Meta is working to re-align the focus of its NPE team, which has released a number of applications over the past two years in an effort to take advantage of the latest user trends and anticipate the next big thing.

Apparently, none of these experiments succeeded, with a full list of NPE team apps reflecting the ebbs and flows of online whims throughout the period.

  • Great, a Cameo-like platform for connecting with celebrities, which seems to be no longer available
  • Hotline, a Clubhouse-style social audio app that launched in beta last April but has since been removed
  • Forecast, which aimed to ease predictions from the crowd, was launched in June 2020 and then shut down in October last year
  • Venue, an application for live sports engagements launched in May 2020 and shut down sometime last year
  • CatchUp, facilitate phone calls between friends who are ready to talk, launched in May 2020 and has now disappeared from the App Store
  • Collab, for music collaboration via short video clips launched in May 2020 and will go out of business this March.
  • Kit, which provided extended messaging options via Apple Watch, has now disappeared from the app store
  • Hobbies, which provided a way to collect images of creative hobbies and sort them into plates, lasted only six months
  • Kit, a meme creation tool, quietly launched in November 2019, lasted until recently, based on reported updates.
  • TO, a participatory DJ app also failed
  • Bump, a chat app, also failed to retain its place

In fact, of the thirteen experimental apps launched by the NPE team since November 2019, only two are still active – the ‘Bars’ tail creation app is still in the App Store, along with ‘Tuned’, the messaging app for couples. Experience to date here probably suggests that it will also not be long in this world.

Meta announced last month that tThe NPE team will shift its focus to building with and for communities that have “historically been neglected, underestimated and underestimated by our industry”. The idea is that while the latest trends in a wider range may lead to greater adoption of applications, there are many areas where new uses and functionalities are being developed, which may not be as widespread, but could lead to significant new developments.

According to NPE:

“We are expanding from our current U.S. footprint to build with and for communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and to expand what works there around the world. Right now, increasing global connectivity and reducing the cost of experimentation have created new opportunities. During this next era, anyone with a design mindset, wherever they may be, can quickly see that rapid experimentation transcends received wisdom and adapts. We need to be more intentional in building with proximity how the world looks today, and what it will look like tomorrow. In time, we will learn to recognize universal experiences. ”

It is obvious that part of that will see the group clear the list, in order to refocus on these new projects. How exactly this will look like and whether these new experiments will be more successful, or more valuable in the long run, remains to be seen, but it is interesting to see Matt extinguishing these past experiments, which, at one point, were seemingly held. a significant enough promise for research.

Does that mark the end of Meta’s pursuit of trends and work on defending potential competition in space? Maybe Meta is now moving away from copying, and instead turning to the future, with projects that are more focused on the next phase of connectivity – ie. metaverse.

The new focus, which includes new team offices in Lagos and Asia, could be a major shift and it will be interesting to see how these new collaborations and partnerships develop over time.

But if you want to test your tail skills, I would download ‘Bars’ pretty quickly.





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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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