Facebook is introducing a new brand of experimental apps for consumers under the New Product Experimentation Team name, or under the label of NPE Team. Staying true to its name, NPE apps would focus on consumer services. The NPE team would be developing apps for iOS, Android, and also for the web. The apps are going to be somewhat similar to Microsoft’s Garage.
Facebook holds a history of developing experimental apps, although many of them have not taken off. The company’s past apps history consist of either launches or brought over the years, include Lifestage, Slingshot, and Poke (all being Snapchat clones) were abandoned, and the company’s inoperative Research app, also known as Project Atlas, had been prohibited from the App Store for lifting private data from 187,000 users.
A blog post announced about the new team and in that post the company pointed that it thought of using the separate brand name to assist in establishing the proper expectations with users that NPE Team apps would change very quickly and would be disabled if they prove to be not useful to people.
Having a committed group that can experiment with new services like these at a quick rate that’s also further removed from the core Facebook brand appears like a smart idea. It permits Facebook to try new things with less pressure and without the concern that if it decides something isn’t working, it won’t derange the entire Facebook brand. Facebook is up front about the fact that it anticipates many failures.
There hasn’t been any word yet on what kind of apps the NPE Team would be introducing or when to expect them. However, with the announcement of the brand, odds are, one won’t need to wait long for the first app to pop up.