Facebook Tests Hobbi Photo App In Select Markets

Putting Pinterest on notice, Facebook is testing an app that bears a strong resemblance to the pin-based platform.

Dubbed Hobbi, the photo-heavy app is designed to “capture and organize your creative process,” according to a description on Apple’s App Store.

Hobbi’s strong similarity to Pinterest -- which is designed to help people visually organize all manner of personal projects -- was not lost on early reviewers.    

“Just a clone of Pinterest,” one App Store user wrote this week.

“Facebook can’t do anything original,” another App Store user quipped.

First noticed by The Information, Hobbi will only be offered in select markets, including Spain, Belgium and Colombia. The new app was developed by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) unit, formed last summer to dream up new consumer-facing products.

Reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson said the company had no additional information to share about Hobbi.

Facebook has good reason to be following Pinterest’s lead. Surpassing Snapchat, Pinterest recently established itself as the third-largest social-media platform among U.S. consumers, according to eMarketer.

Pinterest saw domestic membership grow by 9.1% to 82.4 million users last year, according to the research firm.

Along with a successful IPO in 2019, Pinterest’s success has been due to its broad appeal, according to eMarketer forecasting analyst Nazmul Islam.

“While Snapchat has a young core audience that it caters to, Pinterest has a more universal appeal, and it’s made significant gains in a wide range of age groups,” Islam noted in a recent report.

This year, Pinterest’s U.S. following will increase to 86 million users, compared with Snapchat’s 83.1 million U.S. users, eMarketer predicts.

As of December 31, Facebook’s “family” monthly active users -- including those from WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger and its flagship platform -- totaled 2.89 billion worldwide.


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