Facebook has launched a new app on April Fools' Day. Brilliant timing, right?

The app, called Riff, debuted with a full blog post and active links to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but you can't yet download the app for your iOS device. If you try to, the App Store alerts you that the app is not yet available in certain regions, which makes it seem like Facebook is pulling one over on you, but rest assure that is not the case.

Facebook's Riff is an after-hours project led by Product Manager Josh Miller, the founder of Branch who also worked on Rooms, another social app from Facebook Creative Labs. Miller has clarified via Twitter that Riff is not a prank and that Apple's App Store is simply having issues. Alright then...

With that finally settled, you likely now want to know more about Riff.

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Riff is a new kind of video-sharing app for iOS and Android.

It's not like Vine or Instagram. You don't post traditional videos, in which your friends can see it in a stream and passively comment upon or like it, but the app does let you make videos with friends. That last bit is key. Riff is a collaborative video app. It's a creative tool that lets you create videos with others.

  • Start by creating a video (also called a Riff; or Riffs, for multiple)
  • Give the Riff a topic (like #AprilFools)
  • Your friends will be able to view it and add their own clips based on that topic
  • Friends of your friends will see the video in Riff and can also add to it
  • Riffs have the potential to grow exponentially between circles of friends
  • Share the Riff to Facebook or elsewhere

Facebook said the idea is that a short video can become an "inventive project between circles of friends that you can share to Facebook, or anywhere on the internet, at any time".

Facebook has published the following example to demonstrate how a Riff works:


You can see another example here.

Check out Facebook's blog post or try the app yourself to find out more. Riff also has a basic placeholder site.