Facebook appears to be doubling-down on its experimental app efforts, with the launch of a new brand entirely dedicated to the initiative.
It has announced a New Product Experimentation (NPE) team that's focused on creating new apps for iOS, Android, and the web. In a blog post announcing the new team, Facebook said it 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".
Keep in mind Facebook has a long history of launching and then abandoning apps. There was Moments, Notify, Lifestage, Poke, Slingshot, Tbh, Moves, Hello, and so many more. But now, with a whole team working on these sorts of consumer experiences, we can expect apps to launch (and perhaps die) at a faster rate. They'll also be completely set apart from the Facebook brand.
Maybe that's to court mobile app users who'd prefer to avoid anything associated with Facebook, or maybe it just doesn't want any unsuccessful apps to affect the Facebook brand. Facebook did write in a blog post that it wants to "minimize disruption to the billions of people who use Facebook apps every day". It also said the NPE team will operate independently as an LLC.
However, all apps will adhere to Facebook's terms of service and data policy and tell people whether and how their data is being collected.