In early November, Facebook introduced Whale, their experimental app, that allows users to edit photos with “pro tools” to make their own memes, which can be shared on social media.
What Is Facebook’s Whale App?
Facebook’s Whale app allows users to easily and quickly create memes using their own images or pictures from the app’s stock photo library. Once users choose photos, they can customize the images by adding emojis, text, effects and filters, such as laser eyes or vortex, and users have the option of using blank, two-grid, three-grid or four-grid canvas layouts. In addition to creating memes on Whale, users can make their own image stickers by using the crop and cut tools. When users are done creating their memes, they can save the memes to their camera roll or share their memes on Instagram or Facebook Messenger directly from the Whale app.
Who Created Facebook’s Whale App?
The Whale app was developed by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) division. Introduced to the public in July, the Facebook NPE team develops and releases consumer apps that Facebook wants to try out, without the promise that those apps will stick around. Facebook stated on its website, “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.”
Where Is Facebook’s Whale App Available?
Because Whale is currently only an experimental app, it is not offered for download everywhere. The Whale app is available for iPhone users at the App Store exclusively in Canada. Currently it is unclear when or if it will become available for download in the U.S. or in other countries.
Why Is Facebook Testing A Meme-Making App?
Facebook’s experiment with Whale comes amidst the rise of TikTok, the video-focused app popular with younger social media users. In the past two and a half years after its launch outside of China, TikTok has become a popular source of memes and fast-forwarded videos with music overlays. In an attempt to also reach the younger meme-loving demographic, Facebook decided to test rolling out an app dedicated solely to memes – Whale, to see if it would gain momentum. The idea behind the fairly basic Whale app is to give more people the opportunity to easily get involved with creating memes and online trends.
What Does Facebook’s Recent Experimental App Mean For Digital Marketers?
In an attempt to not be completely overshadowed by other apps taking over the digital space, Facebook has been proactive in aiming to reach and engage younger audiences across their platforms, including their experimental Whale app. According to Business Insider, only 9% of teens say Facebook is their preferred social media platform as Gen Z favors Snapchat, Instagram and newer social platforms, like TikTok. It is important for digital marketers targeting Gen Z to keep their eyes open to the hottest trends, especially when it comes to social media, and be willing to test out social platforms before this younger audience devotes their attention to the next big thing.