Facebook recently announced the standalone ‘New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team’, a division of the company that will use the “NPE Team, from Facebook’ developer name to develop and publish new experimental apps and experiences. While not much in the way of information is present on what kind of experiences or apps are being worked on by the division, the company does say that the apps will “change very rapidly” and be shut down if user adoption is less, leading to believe that these apps might be small and might specialize in conducting very specific tasks.
Today, however, former head of the now-defunct short-video sharing service, Vine, Jason Toff announced on Twitter that he will be joining the social media giant’s NPE division as PM Director. Toff left the Twitter-owned service back in 2016 to return to Google to work on VR technologies. He says that he will be “starting up a new initiative” under the NPE Team, adding that though no project specifics could be shared, he indeed will be hiring “UX designers or engineers”.
It is interesting to see Facebook begin to hire big names for the division. Vine’s possible successor, Byte, is yet to see the light of the day, with the app-makers recently having entered a closed testing phase. It does seem unlikely that Facebook would plan to churn out a successor to Vine, considering the capabilities that its own apps such as Instagram possess would coincide with such an app. What the social media giant’s new division has on its roadmap is anyone’s guess, but it shouldn’t be surprising if more news of the direction of this team is revealed in the coming months.