This morning, Facebook’s NPE team (New Products and Experiences) announced a pair of new apps to help users connect with each other even when they’re apart. Collab is all about making music together, while CatchUp is a group phone call app. Yeah.
CatchUp is the simplest of the two apps, but it also seems to be the one that will be most widely used. The concept is simple: group calls. Not video, mind you, but voice chat. The app doesn’t require a Facebook account to use, as it crawls your contact list for other CatchUp users.
Where it differs from similar apps is that it will let you know when other users are available, making it easier to … catch up. You can have up to eight users on a single call, too. The app is available for both iOS and Android users to try today.
Collab, however, might be the more interesting of the two. It’s all about music creation, albeit with an interesting twist. You can combine three music videos into one collaboration—be that your own or those from friends. But here’s the most interesting bit: users who may not have any musical experience can swipe through existing videos to create their own collaboration.
I’ll be honest: it sounds … kind of weird? I’m sure not all the potential collaborations will be zingers—it’s probably easier to generate something that sounds bad than something that sounds good. But that’s probably the fun in it.
Collab is currently invite-only and exclusively available on iOS (at least for now). You can sign up for the waitlist here.
It’s also worth remembering that these are both NPE apps, which means they can change or go away at any point.