Facebook's New Product Experimentation (NPE) lab is where Mark Zuckerberg's firm conducts a bulk of its little app tests and tweaks. If these products are a hit, they stay. If not, they wilt away. In a similar experiment — this time with matters of the heart — the NPE team quietly launched Tuned on the App Store, according to The Information, which first spotted it.
In simple words, Tuned is a one-on-one messaging app for couples. And if you're feeling a strange bit of deja vu that you just can't put your finger on, it's because Tuned is oddly similar to Joshua Kushner and Karlie Kloss's free end-to-end encrypted, one-on-one iOS app called Bedford.
What you can expect out of Tuned — Consider Tuned a digital scrapbook that only your darling can access. It's typically minimalist in design with in-vogue hues like rose pink, millennial shades of gold, and sky blue plus emojis and stickers that can replace text-based conversations (which is often customary for both millennials and Generation Z). The NPE team says you can connect your Spotify feeds with each other, create playlists for an audience of one, set a mood for the app and "see how your partner is feeling," plus exchange voice memos, clips, cards, notes, and of course, photos.
It looks similar to Kushner's Valentine's Day gift for Kloss.
For thine (and Facebook's) eyes only — Although the creators of Tuned pitch the app as a "private space where you and your significant other can just be yourselves," Facebook's data policy still applies to the app, as The Information reported. In other words, it's not entirely private; the data collection will most likely apply to ad targeting campaigns.
A quiet lovebird experiment — Facebook's NPE team is pretty straightforward about its mission: small-scale experiments that can lead to big discoveries. A muted launch for a lovebird app like Tuned makes sense when you consider the team's previous projects like Hobbi, which was unmistakably similar to the hugely popular Pinterest.
"Many of the products we create will start small and may not resonate with everyone," the team explains. "And we expect many will be shutdown as a result. That’s okay. Because we believe building without fear of failure is the only way to achieve success." At this moment, according to The New York Times, Tuned's social networking ranking is at No. 872 in the United States. If it wins the hearts of lovers in long-distance relationships as well as suddenly homebound sweethearts under COVID-19 lockdowns, it'll go obviously up the ranks. If not, it'll meet a floppy fate similar to Hobbi's.