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Facebook Launches Riff, a New App for Group Videos

More video! More video!

Facebook launched a new app on Wednesday with user-generated video as the main focus.

Riff, which is available for free on both iOS and Android, lets users create and share a video to Facebook (or other places online) where other users can then add to the project with their own video clips and share it to their followers.


Instagram launched multiple “creative” apps in the past year in the hope that people will use them to create shareable Instagram content. This appears to be a similar strategy, but with Facebook video in mind. (Video on Facebook is huge, particularly user-generated video.)

Riff does look familiar — but not to other Facebook offerings. It looks like Snapchat’s Our Story feature, which lets users within the app contribute photos and videos that are then curated into a themed montage.

Our Stories are incredibly popular on Snapchat, generating tens of millions of views within 24-hour periods. Facebook probably wants to bring some of that action onto its own platform.

Riff was born out of Facebook Creative Labs, the company’s initiative to build more standalone apps. Josh Miller, who sold his startup Branch to Facebook last January, is the product manager on Riff. He also built Rooms, Facebook’s anonymous chat room app that debuted in October and has been very quiet since.

A company spokesperson says that Rooms is still around — Miller is just managing both apps.

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