Facebook has launched a new meme creating app, called Whale, developed by its NPE (New Product Experimentation) Team. Currently only available in Canada as part of its testing phase, the app allows users to upload images or from a stock library and then add various effects before sharing the meme on social media or in message threads from the app, or, just saving them to camera roll.
Effects include a suite of fonts, images, emojis, filters, effects and tools, including a freeform drawing tool, to customise an image to make a meme. Users can select from a blank canvas or a 2-, 3- or 4-grid canvas. The app also allows users to crop and cut images to make image stickers. Filters and effects include popular social media tropes such as laser eyes, bulge and vortex.
Facebook announced the NPE developer team in June 2019, explaining that it would begin to launch entirely new consumer-focused apps under this name, as opposed to “From Facebook” to allow it to be iterative and adaptable to the swiftly evolving app market. “We decided to use this separate brand name 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," says a statement from Facebook. “We expect many failures.”
“This is a way for Facebook to develop new types of experiences for people,” it continues, “and to try different ideas by creating small, focused apps in order to see whether people find certain features useful or engaging. We may use what we learn to help inform our thinking and product strategy moving forward.” Hence it can be inferred that Whale might not make its way to international app stores unless it proves successful for the brand.