Facebook Collab is a new experimental music-making app available in the US, that lets you create music with friends.
The app first rolled out in May 2020 as an invitation-only beta. Today it is available to anyone in the US with an iPhone or iPad.
Collab was created by now-famous Facebook’s New Product Experimentation Team. The app lets you create music with friends when you cannot be together in the same place – something that has become all too familiar with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
Collab helps you create “collabs” which are made of three 15-second videos from different musicians and singers, which are always playing in sync. When you select a “collab” in your feed, you can easily swipe away any row (remove it) and replace it with a new video clip created by someone else.
This will change the composition, but like magic, everything will remain in sync, allowing to experiment with variations of the same track.
You can also record your own contributions for any song that is already on the app. Once you upload it to the app, any other users can start using your piece in their own collabs. But you can also start a brand new collab if you are feeling particularly creative.
“Collab automates the complexity of audio and video syncing so you can easily produce a final composition you love,” Facebook says. “With Collab, you feel like you’re jamming with the band from the comfort of your bedroom. The most important factor: No musical experience is required — if you can swipe, you can create a collab.”
Through its invitation-only beta program, the NPW team was able to make improvements to audio syncing, discovery algorithms, and sharing processes.
Marissa, a small-business owner and singer, is enjoying the app, according to Facebook. “Of course, we’re all feeling a little lonely and disconnected, but Collab is really helping me.”
She adds: “The videos are so easy to make, and it fits into my busy life as a mom and small-business owner. If I have an extra 15 minutes, I can make a collab … I’ve never met the people that I’m making music with, but it doesn’t matter. We are clearly here to have fun and make music together — and that is one of the most beautiful things to have in common with someone.”