Memes are the very soul of social media. And Facebook doesn’t want you to miss out on the creativity, just in case that is a streak you want to tap into. Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) division has made a new app called Whale, which is essentially a meme creator. The Whale app is now available for the Apple iPhones on the App Store. But that is where the catch is. The app is currently available only in Canada, and there is no real clarity on when it’ll roll-out in other countries.
To use the Facebook Whale app as intended, you can choose to either take a new photo using your phone’s camera, select a picture from the Photos app or browse the app’s library of stock photos. You can then embark on the journey of making a meme with text, images, emojis, filters, and something that the app description calls popular effects. You will be able to choose from blank, 2-grid, 3-grid, and 4-grid canvas layouts. There is also the freeform drawing tool if you are feeling artistic enough and filters including laser eyes. All this would sound a lot of fun to the sort of people who make memes regularly.
This is the third app made by the Facebook NPE team, the other two being Aux and Bump. Bump is a chat app that says the focus is on conversations while Aux is a social music listening app. Both these apps were released earlier this month. The Facebook NPE team was first announced in July this year, with the sole intention of making experimental consumer apps, in possibly an attempt to find the next big idea. “NPE Team apps will be aligned with Facebook’s mission of giving people the power to build community but will focus on shipping entirely new experiences. We 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,” Facebook had said at the time.
Facebook is clearly focusing on investing in apps, as it faces competition in the social media and communications space, particularly from the Chinese app developers, including the likes of Bytedance (the makers of the incredibly popular app TikTok). It is a bit perplexing though that Facebook made a meme maker app, when there are literally countless such apps already available on the Google Play Store for Android phones and the App Store for iPhones.