Facebook has launched a new mobile app that allows a group of friends to collaborate on a single video. It’s called Riff and it is available now in 15 languages for Android and iOS users. Here’s everything you need to know.
A Riff starts with a single user creating a video that can be up to 20 seconds in length. It’s given a title and loaded to the service at which time your Facebook friends will see it. They’re invited to add to the project by creating their own 20-second segment and uploading it which gets stitched to the original. Once their bit is uploaded, the longer video is now viewable to their friends and so on.
Riff is a product of Facebook’s Creative Labs, the social network’s initiative that lets small teams within the company build standalone mobile apps. Other products from Creative Labs include Paper and Rooms.
The idea came about following last year’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge viral sensation. That meme alone helped Facebook grow its video views by 50 percent from May to July, topping out around a billion views a day. Facebook product manager Josh Miller wanted to create something similar as the Ice Bucket Challenge was only successful because it encouraged others to do the same (to colloaborate).
The idea for a collaborative video effort isn’t new as Snapchat’s Our Stories essentially does the same thing (as do other apps like MixBit, JumpCam and Vyclone). And even if it isn’t overly successful, Facebook will no doubt gather some useful insight into what does and doesn’t work in terms of video apps. Should it be a hit, it’ll be yet another app that Facebook can load up with ads to pad its bottom line.