Facebook plans to launch new experimental apps under NPE Team name

Posted:
in iPhone
Facebook on Tuesday launched a new brand of apps for consumers under the New Product Experimentation Team name, or NPE Team for short. The spinoff will develop for iOS, Android, and the Web.

facebook


True to its name, NPE apps will be small and highly focused, with the intention of finding out what features people find useful or engaging, Facebook said. The hope is to "develop new types of experiences for people," similar to Microsoft's Garage.

Facebook has a history of developing experimental apps, though many of them have not taken off. Lifestage, Slingshot, and Poke -- three Snapchat clones -- were abandoned, and the company's defunct Research app, also known as Project Atlas, had been banned from the App Store for scooping up private data from 187,000 users.

In fact the NPE moniker may be because of these failed experiments. In its announcement, Facebook said it created the name "to help set the appropriate expectations with people that, unlike Facebook's family of apps, NPE Team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they're not useful to people. We expect many failures."

The company promised that users will have control over their personal data, governed by Facebook's terms of service and data policy, as well as yet-to-be-released NPE Team terms. It's not clear what the company will do with data in apps that are shut down. With a track record of mishandling data, users may have a right to be concerned.

Currently there's no word about what kinds of apps the NPE Team will release, nor any mention of release dates.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 510member
    For the informed consumer, "NPE" should stand for "nope."
    AppleExposedjahbladeAmberNeelymacseekerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 597member
    Hmmm: promarket.org/roger-mcnamee-think-can-make-legitimate-case-facebook-become-parasitic/
    edited July 9
  • Reply 3 of 11
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,476member
    Google does this, too. The reward is that, with just a small fraction of the population sucked into using dead-end apps, the developer learns a lot about the population as a whole.

    You might avoid using WhatsApp because it demands access to your address book, but one of your friends or acquaintances is a sucker for it, so now WhatsApp (and Facebook) have your contact information. That's just easy one example. Other ways involve the use of statistics to characterize our behavior.
    jahbladeAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    I trust FB about as far as I could throw zuckerpuke....anyone who does either works for him or has lost their mind!
    flyingdpwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    In my world NPE stands for NullPointerException... I guess that applies here as well if I were to consider using anything from this team.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 241member
    I trust FB about as far as I could throw zuckerpuke....anyone who does either works for him or has lost their mind!
    Facebook was #1 on Glassdoor's 'Best Place to Work' 12 months ago (slipped to #7 this year). Perhaps the negative publicity around ever-more sleazy data collection practices negatively impacted Facebook's rating. 
  • Reply 7 of 11
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,476member
    Considering its sleezy genetics, Facebook ought to be an unpopular place to work. It's as though FB developers crave the opportunity to mine and sell personal information... which says a lot about their ethics, too. Everybody has a price. Theirs is just a lot lower than Zuckerberg's and Sandberg's.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    kuraikurai Posts: 9unconfirmed, member
    I saw NPE and immediately thought, Null Pointer Exception. Clearly someone didn't think this through, or they are going to be trolling their users.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Three things come to mind.

    1) A sheep in wolf's clothing
    2) The Emperor's new clothes. (not worth looking at for fear of getting embarrassed)
    3) Fiddling while the Empire burns. (well I hope so)

    Facebook like Google are only in business to get data on each and everyone of us so that they can sell it to advertisers. Avoid at all costs if you want to keep at least some parts of your private life, private.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 241member
    cpsro said:
    Considering its sleezy genetics, Facebook ought to be an unpopular place to work. It's as though FB developers crave the opportunity to mine and sell personal information... which says a lot about their ethics, too. Everybody has a price. Theirs is just a lot lower than Zuckerberg's and Sandberg's.
    The Glassdoor rating is based on employee feedback in 8 categories (overall company rating, career opportunities, compensation & benefits, culture & values, senior management, work/life balance, recommend to a friend and six-month business outlook) as well as algorithms that take into account quality and consistency of employee reviews.

    I don't think most Facebook employees would even think about (let alone crave) mining and selling personal information. As an example, my nephew has a PhD in mathematics (statistics) and interviewed at Facebook (didn't get past an initial talk) but he specialises in extracting conclusions from the 0.3% of datasets that are more than 4 standard deviations from the mean (I didn't understand the abstract of his PhD thesis let alone the body) - a dataset is a dataset is a dataset.

    Most companies (including Apple) can only dream of Facebook's overheads (ref Forbes - Len Sherman)
    • No cost of goods sold (individual users and companies provide content for free)
    • No marketing costs (user word-of-mouth and viral network effects spur continuous growth)
    • No selling costs (most advertisements are purchased through a self-service, automated ad placement platform)
    Of course the societal risks posed by Facebook's data collection practices to feed its business model need to be identified and mitigated by law makers urgently.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    I believe that data privacy next step should be some common dB approved/controlled by government where you decide what app can do what with which data. I’ve seen something about that on the wires time ago. Probably not what the industry will acclaim as best for people. By example i’ll be more interested in having my passport in the cloud to open the gates on the airports I can pass freely and sharing that info to the airline company for a limited time. However I do not want that the fact I’ll not be at home is shared to anyone other than me by the airline company.
    Current situation is not on the best interest of people, as it happens often when technology changes.
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.