The New Product Experimentation(NPE) team is a new brand from Facebook that will be tasked with launching consumer experimental apps for various platforms including Android, iOS and the web too.
Facebook says that the separation is to help set the appropriate expectations with users that NPE Team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they’re not useful to people.
The new team is similar to Microsoft’s Garage group, another brand from the Redmond-based tech giant that is an outlet for experimental projects and Alphabet’s X experimental division. This detachment from the giant social media sharing site will allow the new team who will operate under CTO Mike Schroepfer to work on new experiments without the pressure and is expected that many of the apps created will fail or shut down such the recently killed Moments and Instagram Direct that joined others in the Facebook graveyard including tbh, Paper, Poke, Rooms and Lifestage.
Worth noting, Creative Labs was Facebook’s earlier initiative to create experimental apps that shut down in 2015 but unlike Creative Labs, the NPE team is an official team.
We don’t know for sure what apps the new team will be working on – hopefully, not more Snapchat clones but we should expect weird apps.
Facebook assures users that they will not be forced to use Login with Facebook to access some of the apps that they will launch in their near future. Also, the apps coming from the team will be governed by Facebook’s terms of service and data policy.
“We will work hard to keep people’s information secure and leverage our internal tools, systems, and expertise inside the company for future NPE products,” Facebook says in the blog post.
Time will tell how this plays out especially with Facebook’s past history of data and privacy scandals. However, we’ll wait and see how this standalone strategy works out for Facebook.