Facebook’s recently launched app, Hobby, which is an experiment in short-form content creation around personal projects, hobbies, and other Pinterest-y content, is already closing. The app first came to iOS in February, with one now launching several from Facebook’s internal R&D group, the NPE team.
Hobby users have now been notified via push notification that the app is closing on July 10, 2020. The app allows users to export their data from their settings.
In a few months it went live on the American App Store, according to the Sensor app estimate, with Hobby receiving only 7,000 downloads. Apptopia also reported that the app was under 10K downloads and saw minimal gains during May and June.
Although Hobbie clearly took cues from Pintrest, it was not a pinboard of inspirational ideas. Instead, Hobby users will organize photos of their projects – such as gardening, cooking, arts and crafts, decorations, and more – like a visual diary. The goal was to photograph the progress of the project over time, adding text to describe the steps as needed.
The end result will be a highlight reel of all steps that may be published externally upon completion of the project.
But Hobby was a fairly bare-bones app. There was nothing else to do but document his own projects. You cannot browse and view browsers that other users had created, beyond some samples, nor could you follow the top users in this service. And even the tools for documentation were underdeveloped. Beyond a special “notes” area for writing the project’s stages, the app’s experience felt like a watery version of the stories.
Facebook was not alone in advancing the possibilities of short form creative content. Google’s internal R&D group, Region 120, also published its own experiment in the region with the video app Tangi. And Pinterest was recently spotted testing a new version of Story Pins, which would allow users to display DIY and creative content in a similar way.
Given the lack of Traby, it is not surprising to see Hobby down so quickly. Facebook has already said that its NPE team experiments will include apps that change very quickly and will be shut down if consumers don’t find them useful.
In addition to Hobby, the NPE team has launched several apps since last summer, including Meme Creator Whale, Conversational App Bump, Music App Aux, Couples App Tuned, Apple Watch App Kit, Audio Calling App CatchUp, Collaborative Music App Collab . Live Event Partner Venue, and Predictions App Forecast. Prior to Hobby, the only bump to shut down was. (Some don’t live in the U.S., either)
Certainly, Facebook may not intend to use these experiments to create an entirely new social app. Instead, users are likely to collect data about the features being resonated and how different construction tools are used. This is data that can inform the development of features for the main set of apps such as Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
We have reached out to Facebook for comment, but none were made available at the time of publication.