Facebook 'riffs' on Snapchat with new group video app

Facebook's Riff app lets users create short videos, which their friends can add to

Facebook's Riff app lets users create short videos that their friends can add to.
Facebook's Riff app lets users create short videos that their friends can add to.

Facebook has released a new app for making videos that it thinks can win over the competition by allowing collaboration among friends.

The company on Wednesday released Riff, a mobile app that lets people create short videos and then share them with friends. A video creation and sharing app alone is not unique -- other services like YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter provide some other apps for this -- but Facebook is hoping to distinguish its app by adding a strong collaborative element to it.

After someone creates a video in Riff, that person's Facebook friends can add to the video with a video of their own. From there, friends of the friend can add to it, and so on. This has the potential to give the video a communal effect, reminiscent of the Our Stories function in Snapchat that lets people watch videos taken by others during an event or over a period of time.

But by opening up each Riff video to people's friends, Facebook hopes the videos can take unexpected turns, and perhaps even go viral.

"We don't know what a Riff is going to be good for, and our hunch is that we're going to learn from the best ones in the community," said Josh Miller, product manager at Facebook.

After signing in for the first time, the app requires users to log in with Facebook. To create a video, the user assigns it a topic, like #munchies or #speechless. Then, after creating the video, the app gives users the option to share it to Facebook so their friends can see it in news feed. The video will also appear in the app itself, and the user's Facebook friends who have the app will be notified that the user has started a video. Once a friend adds a clip to the video, that person's friends will also be able to see the video and will be able to add to it.

Each individual video clip can be up to 20 seconds long, though there is no hard limit for the combined video, a Facebook spokeswoman said.

On the day of its launch, Facebook was featuring a few videos in the app. One showed cast members backstage in a New York Broadway show; another showed Facebook employees riffing on the idea of balancing something on their heads.

Riff is available starting Wednesday on iOS and Android. It's another stand-alone app to come out of Facebook's Creative Labs unit, which has also developed apps like Paper and Slingshot.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

​We have expected artificial intelligence (AI) will become part of our everyday lives for quite some time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Is customer segmentation dead?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, announced the death of customer segmentation five years ago saying, "The shift is to go from the segment to the individual. She might have been a bit premature for most marketers, but if customer segmentation isn't dead yet, it's definitely on life support.

Richard Taylor

Senior digital strategist, Spinach

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

What a great article. Thanks for sharing. Today Digital Marketing is the basic need for a business to survive. As online presence is very...

Ecomsolver Private Limited

Want to master digital transformation? Stop thinking about your own problems

Read more

Feeling grateful that customer led digital transformation could improve business and generate more business growth. Many companies are no...

Lilly Lawrence

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

If a business games me happy than there is a higher chance I will go to them.

Martinez

The Iconic: becoming customer-focussed transformed our business

Read more

That’s a great example of surprising AR ad that went viral because it was first of its kind. Probably a similar effect to some scale can ...

Natasha Kvitka

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

Read more

Hey there! it is a really meaningful post. I too have written a few similar articles about SEM, SEO, Social Media, Digital Marketing Tren...

Rohit

Digital advertising continues to dominate marketing budgets

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in