Social media giant Facebook has quietly released a new app like Pinterest called ‘Hobbi’, a photo and video sharing app designed for documenting users hobbies. The app is available for iPhone users and it was created by New Product Experimentation (NPE) a team within Facebook tasked with experimenting new products and services, CNET reported on Thursday.
According to its page in the App Store, in this photo-sharing app one can capture and organise their creative process like cooking, baking, arts and crafts, fitness or home decor. The app is currently available in 84 countries, including the US, Australia as well as Canada, according to Sensor Tower and has fewer than 5,000 downloads. Facebook so far has launched just a handful of NPE Team-branded apps. Last year, it launched a chat app for making friends called Bump and a social music app Aux. Additionally, a meme editor called Whale, has already shut down.
It will be interesting to see whether Hobbi also attracts the attention of antitrust regulators across the world. Facebook spent the best part of 2019 defending itself against a slew of lawsuits alleging the company of anti-competitive practices. That led to multiple calls for removing Mark Zuckerberg from his position of absolute authority in the company, and breaking up Facebook in order to dissolve its overwhelming might in the internet economy.
Pinterest, on the other hand, presently has a sizeable user base of 322 million active users as of end-2019. Going forward, it will be important to observe how Hobbi is roped into the Facebook ecosystem of services that already has Instagram and WhatsApp. The exact nature of the service, coupled with the impact it has on the industry, will be important to see in parallel with how Pinterest fares on its own accord as well. As of now, Pinterest’s shares are already down, signifying tough times ahead for the independent app.