It's been a hot minute since Facebook made a new app. And its latest effort, called LOL, is solely targeting teens, if you couldn't tell by the name.
According to TechCrunch, LOL is a not-yet-available app consisting of a feed full of memes and GIFs. These are categorised by topics like “pranks". Facebook is reportedly testing it with a select group of high school students, with the consent of their parents, naturally. It sounds like a mix between 9GAG and Snapchat’s Discover tab, with algorithmically curated content they can scroll through in a way that reminds us of Instagram Stories.
There's also share and reaction buttons. It's a really simple app. Supposedly, LOL is meant to serve as a sort of Facebook Watch for teens. Watch is Facebook's still-new video tab that houses everything from user-generated content to professional videos from the media and even original Facebook clips. It doesn't seem like Watch is going away, however, and it's unclear if LOL will eventually be included into Facebook or launched as a standalone.
In a statement to the media, Facebook said it's running a small-scale test, with less than 100 people, and the concept is in the early stages right now.
If you look at Facebook's app-making history, you'll know it once tried to create several apps targeting teens. There was Poke and Slingshot and Rooms and so on. None of these took off. And, for a while, it seemed like the social network gave up trying to create its own Snapchat-like success.
Or maybe it was just waiting for the right moment to pounce. We can't help but wonder if its controversial past two years will hurt any chance it ever had, though. Teens are pretty woke these days.
Who knows if they'll want another Facebook-owned app in their midst.