The app was quietly released last week and is only available in Canada
Now that memes are the soul of social media, Facebook doesn’t want you to miss out on the creativity just in case that is a streak you want to tap into. According to The Information, Whale App which essentially is a meme creator is the work of an internal testing group/division at Facebook called New Product Experimentation (NPE).
The Facebook NPE team was first announced in July this year, with the sole purpose of making experimental consumer apps, in possibly an attempt to find the next big idea.
“NPE Team apps will be aligned with Facebook’s mission of giving people the power to build community but will focus on shipping entirely new experiences. 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.”Facebook
NPE has also got two other apps available, called Aux and Bump, both of which appear to be aimed at students. Bump is a chat app that says the focus is on conversations while Aux is a social music listening app. Both these apps were released earlier this month.
Although it’s evident that the Whale App is a clear attempt to keep ahold of the teen and Gen Z market, which Facebook is in danger of losing to hit video app TikTok that recently got more downloads than Facebook.
The Whale app is now available for the Apple iPhones on the App Store. But a catch to it is that the app is currently available only in the Canadian App Store, and there is no real clarity on when it’ll roll-out in other countries.
In order to use the Facebook Whale app as expected, one can choose to either take a new photo using their phone’s camera, select a picture from their gallery or browse the app’s library to select from the stock photos.
Once this is done, you can now begin making a meme with text, images, emojis, filters, and something that the app description calls popular effects. When it comes to layouts, you will be able to choose from blank, 2-grid, 3-grid, and 4-grid canvas layouts. Still, if you are more artistic, there is also the freeform drawing tool and filters including laser eyes. I believe that all this would sound a lot of fun to the sort of people who make memes on a regular.
As it faces competition in the social media and communications space, Facebook is clearly focusing on investing in apps. Their competition at the moment particularly comes from Chinese app developers, including the likes of Bytedance, the makers of the incredibly popular app TikTok.