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Facebook Launches New BARS App to Help Aspiring Rappers Put Together Short Tracks



Facebook’s experimental NPE app development team has launched yet another new app, with a rap music tool called BARS that provides a selection of hip-hop beats that you can put your raps to, along with vocal effects and other tools to help bring your music to life.

As explained by NPE:

“Audio production tools can be complicated, expensive and difficult to use. With BARS, you can select one of our professionally-created beats, write lyrics and record yourself dropping bars. BARS auto-suggests rhymes as you’re writing to keep your flow going. You can also jump into Challenge mode and freestyle with auto-suggested word cues. Choose from a variety of audio and visual filters to take your creations to the next level.”


As you can see here, the UI of BARS is similar to TikTok, with a vertical feed, along with ‘Featured’ and ‘New’ tabs.

That’s no coincidence – TikTok has become a key discovery platform for music, with songs forming a central part of the app’s sharing dynamic. BARS looks to tap into that same behavior – though interestingly, it doesn’t offer collaborative or remix tools, which, you would assume, would be a key engagement benefit. Having response or remix options could facilitate virality, the way it does on TikTok, which would see more participation. But right now, BARS is more focused on helping aspiring rappers get their ideas down pat. 

As reported by TechCrunch, the video clips in the BARS app can be up to 60 seconds in length, and can be saved to your Camera Roll and/or shared out on other social media platforms. That could help to boost its populairty – Instagram Threads, for example, its separate messaging app, recently saw a spike in downloads due to its automated, on-screen captioning feature, which many TikTokers have used to record their clips, which they’ve then uploaded to TikTok.

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BARS could see similar, with wannabe rappers putting together their tracks in BARS, then uploading them to TikTok for a wider audience. That could bring more people to the BARS app, and the NPE team could then look to provide remix and engagement tools to keep them there – but given its limited scope, it’s hard to see BARS gaining significant traction as a standalone app.

But then again, maybe it will see wide adoption in rap communities, and that could be enough to build its audience. It’s hard to know exactly what Facebook’s aiming for, because its NPE experiments are generally indicative of some social trend that they’re trying to tap into. 

Either way, it seems like an interesting app, which, depending on the beats and effects on offer, could see solid adoption.


But as noted, I would anticipate seeing BARS clips in TikTok, and it gaining ground that way, rather than working in isolation.

It’s the 12th app launched by Facebook’s NPE team over the last 18 months, with each experiment seeking to find new ways to boost engagement, and solidify Facebook’s offerings. Some of those apps have already been shut down, but Facebook is still supporting most, which suggests that it is seeing some signs of promise from the varying options. 

BARS is currently only available to selected users in the US (you can sign up for the waitlist in the app). If you’re interested, you can stay up to date on the app’s progress via its dedicated Instagram account.

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New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat’s Coming ‘Family Center’ Will Work



New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat's Coming 'Family Center' Will Work

Snapchat’s parental control options look close to launch, with new screenshots based on back-end code showing how Snap’s coming ‘Family Center’ will look in the app.

As you can see in these images, shared by app intelligence company Watchful (via TechCrunch), the Family Center will enable parents to see who their child is engaging with in the app, along with who they’ve added, who they’re following, etc.

That could provide a new level of assurance for parents – though it could also be problematic for Snap, which has become a key resource for more private, intimate connection, with its anti-public posting ethos, and disappearing messages, helping to cement its place as an alternative to other social apps.

That’s really how Snap has embedded its niche. While other apps are about broadcasting your life to the wider world, Snap is about connecting with a small group of friends, where you can share your more private, secret thoughts, without concern of them living on forever, and coming back to bite you at a later stage.

That also, of course, means that more questionable, dangerous communications are happening in the app. Various reports have investigated how Snap is used for sending lewd messages, and arranging hook-ups, while drug dealers reportedly now use Snap to organize meet-ups and sales.

Which, of course, is why parents will be keen to get more insight into such, but I can’t imagine Snap users will be so welcoming of an intrusive tool in this respect.

But if parents know that it exists, they may have to, and that could be problematic for Snap. Teen users will need to accept their parents’ invitation to enable Family Center monitoring, but you can see how this could become an issue for many younger users in the app.


Still, the protective benefits may well be worth it, with random hook-ups and other engagements posing significant risks. And with kids as young as 13 able to create a Snapchat account, there are many vulnerable youngsters engaging in the app.

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But it could reduce Snap’s appeal, as more parents become aware of the tool.

Snapchat hasn’t provided any further insight into the new Family Center, or when it will be released, but it looks close to launch based on these images.  

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