Facebook debuts new hobby tracking app

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Facebook debuts new social app without fanfare.
Image:Hobbi/Facebook

Last week, social networking giant Facebook launched a new experimental application on the Apple App Store with little fanfare. The program is called Hobbi and allows users to track the progress of their various hobbies and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. Notably, the leisure activity tracker has garnered a mixed reception from consumers.

Hobbi App Details

Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team describes its new app as a tool that allows consumers to “capture and organize [their] creative process.” With it, users can take photos documenting how far along they’ve gotten in their various projects. Hobbi’s App Store profile notes it can be used for DIY projects, arts & crafts, home decorating, or even fitness tracking.

Once subscribers catalog a sufficient number of photos, they can share short videos celebrating their achievements. Presently, the application is available in the United States, Belgium, Columbia, Spain, and Ukraine.

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As of this writing, Hobbi has received 65 user ratings with an underwhelming review average of 2.1 stars. Users have most commonly praised the program’s ease-of-use and facility as an organizer. However, other subscribers criticized the app for its lack of functionality, data collection, and similarity to Pinterest.

That said, Hobbi’s mixed reception probably doesn’t concern its parent company. Indeed, Facebook established NPE Team to quickly make, test, and evaluate on an accelerated timetable.

Facebook’s NPE Team Projects

Since the Menlo Park, California-based corporation launched its NPE Team in mid-2019, it has created four apps. Last November, the development group deployed a program called Bump that allows users to chat anonymously. That same month, the group unveiled Aux, an application that will enable subscribers to share their music playlists with their friends.

Though Facebook launched both programs for iOS, only Bump received a Play Store release. The organization also limited the apps’ availability, initially launching them only in Canada and the Philippines. Notably, neither social service received kudos from users. Bump currently has an average rating of 1.6 stars, while Aux has a slightly better grade of 2.0 stars.

The NPE Team also released a meme generator app called Whale late last year. However, the group has already discontinued the program. A representative from the Facebook segment told TechCrunch its modus operandi is to shutter apps that don’t gain traction.

On the one hand, it’s somewhat surprising that Facebook’s experimental development wing hasn’t produced more success. In addition to its flagship program, the corporation dominates the social media industry with its Instagram and WhatsApp products.

On the other, the contemporary mobile application marketplace is extraordinarily competitive. The Big Tech giant has taken several significant reputational hits in the last two years. As such, consumers could be wary of sharing more of their information with the company than they had been previously.

Still, the NPE Team is a worthwhile investment for Facebook. The unit presumably has a small number of dedicated staffers and, therefore, little overhead. In addition, if the corporation is to continue to thrive, it needs to create new features and products. Though it has borne no fruit so far, the development group could produce the next TikTok.

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