Facebook’s new Collab music app is a fun way to play with others

Collab is an experimental music-making app from Facebook, and the company has just launched it for folks in the U.S. with an iPhone or iPad.

We first heard about Collab in May 2020 when the social networking giant released it as an invitation-only beta.

Created by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation Team, Collab lets you make music with friends when you can’t be together in the same place — a situation that many folks are all too familiar with this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

When you open the Collab app, you’ll see a feed of “collabs,” each one comprising three 15-second videos — from different musicians and/or singers — playing in sync.

Select one you like the look of and then have fun with it by simply swiping away any row to bring in a new video clip created by someone else. This will change your composition slightly, but it’ll automatically remain in sync, allowing you to experiment with slight variations of the same track. If you find an artist you like, you can receive notifications for new uploads, too.

If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can record your own contribution for any song already on the app and upload it for other people to use, or start a brand new collab for the community to enjoy.

“Collab automates the complexity of audio and video syncing so you can easily produce a final composition you love,” Facebook says. “With Collab, you feel like you’re jamming with the band from the comfort of your bedroom. The most important factor: No musical experience is required — if you can swipe, you can create a collab.”

The beta trial allowed Collab’s developers to make improvements to audio syncing, discovery algorithms, and sharing processes. Enhancements also include the ability to use external audio interfaces to bring music from electronic instruments such as keyboards, guitars, and drum kits into your recordings.

Facebook

Marissa, a small-business owner and singer, is enjoying the app, according to Facebook. “Of course, we’re all feeling a little lonely and disconnected, but Collab is really helping me.”

She adds: “The videos are so easy to make, and it fits into my busy life as a mom and small-business owner. If I have an extra 15 minutes, I can make a collab … I’ve never met the people that I’m making music with, but it doesn’t matter. We are clearly here to have fun and make music together — and that is one of the most beautiful things to have in common with someone.”

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