Facebook is expanding its group of experimental projects by the NPE team with another app. This initiative, announced last year, focused on quickly trying out new ideas on social networks to see how users respond. This week, the team released its fourth app experiment launching Hobbi, a photo and video sharing app to document your personal projects and hobbies.
Although Hobbi takes obvious evidence from Pinterest, it's not just a pinboard with inspiring ideas. Instead, the app is designed to help hobbyists organize photos of their own projects into thematic collections – such as gardening, cooking, handicrafts, decor, and more. The idea is to keep track of the progress you make over time.
The app does not contain a social networking component, except that you can create video highlight roles that you can share externally with friends after completing your projects.
In this sense, Hobbi is more of an editor and organizer than any new social network.
It's also a very simple app with limited controls or editing options compared to, for example, Instagram's more robust Stories Editor.
It's interesting, however, that Hobbi's launch follows shortly after Tangi, an app from Google's Area 120 incubator that also focuses on creativity, hobbies, and DIY content. Tangi is probably a different type of app because it is a short-form video – similar to a curated TikTok for do-it-yourselfers. If both companies start experiments in the DIY area, this is an area in which despite the dominance of Pinterest as a home for hobbies, projects and interests, a niche can still be worked out.
So far, Facebook has only released a handful of apps from the NPE Team brand. In November it launched a chat app for friends called Bump and a social music app Aux. The first experiment, a meme editor called Whale, has already ended.
Facebook has so far refused to comment on its plans for a single NPE team app, citing its original announcement that availability would depend on the app. The company had also announced that in many cases the experiments would be short-lived as the NPE team will shut down apps that are not useful to users and then build others.
The information also released news about Hobbi's launch today, and found that Pinterest stocks were falling in the news.
As of yesterday, Hobbi was only available for iOS. We were able to download it in the U.S., but it's also available in Colombia, Belgium, Spain, and Ukraine.