Rachel KaserInternet Culture Writer
Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.
Facebook’s testing out its latest bizarre spin-off app aimed at recapturing its youthful audience — in this case, a meme creation app called Whale.
From what we can tell, the purpose of the app is to make meme creation easier by packaging together stock images and basic photo-editing tools. You can apply filters, crop, add emoji and stickers, and “share to social media and message threads right from the app,” according to the app’s description.
The creator of the app is listed as “NPE Team from Facebook.” According to The Information, this is the name of an internal testing group at Facebook called New Product Experimentation. It’s also got two other apps available, called Aux and Bump, both of which appear to be aimed at students.
It’s not available to everyone yet — at time of writing, it’s only available in the Canadian App Store. And even if eventually sees wider release, there’s no telling whether or not it’ll last. While Facebook’s scrapyard of failed ideas isn’t anything to compare with Google’s, not everything it’s put out is gold — just ask the Bonfire app.
It seems pretty obvious which demographic this app is aimed at. As with Threads, the Instagram version of Messenger, it seems Facebook is pulling out every stop in its attempt to reach meme-addicted youths. According to Pew research published earlier this year, around half of American teens use Facebook. That may sound like a lot, but it’s definitely not a demographic where FB has the greatest grip — especially not compared with its past successes. It’s continuously losing ground to the likes of Snapchat and, most recently, TikTok.
And, while I think it’s a bit reductive to aim for an entire generation of people just with memes, it could be some fun to play around with. Depending on how many stock meme images it has in its library, it might even be useful. That Cat-Drake meme you can see in the featured image above actually looks like something made by someone who’s seen a meme once or twice in their life, I’ll give them that.
We’ve contacted Facebook for more information.
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