Facebook reportedly developing LOL meme app to try to appeal to teens

Facebook, which is looking to bring teens back to its social network, is reportedly developing a meme app named LOL.

The social media company has been working on the LOL app for months, multiple sources confirmed with TechCrunch. The app contains funny videos and GIF-like clips that are divided into categories such as For You, Animals, Fails, and Pranks.

Users are also offered themed collections named Dailies, similar to Snapchat’s Discover feature. Once users open a Dailies collection or scroll through the app’s feed, LOL shifts into a black-bordered theater mode that automatically advances to the succeeding video clips. Users can react to each content with special reaction buttons for LOL of Funny, Alright, and Not Funny, and may also share the content or upload their own.

The LOL app, which pulls its content from posts on the Facebook News Feed by the top meme pages on the social network, is said to be currently in a very limited private beta. TechCrunch said that about 100 high school students are involved in focus groups and one-on-one testing after signing non-disclosure agreements with parental consent.

Facebook confirmed the existence of LOL when asked by TechCrunch, and that the app would serve as a home for memes. The company said that the small number of testers are seeing LOL as a replacement for the Watch tab on Facebook, but there is no decision yet on whether the app will become a feature on the social network’s main app or a standalone one.

LOL is still in its early stages, but sources have told TechCrunch that it feels “cringey,” as the content found in the app is sometimes weeks old. This paints Facebook as an adult trying to be young and hip, but failing at it.

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Over the years, as their parents have overrun Facebook, teens have moved to Instagram, Snapchat, and other social networks. Even video-sharing website YouTube is starting to draw teens, as they are moving away from text-based social media and into photo and video content.

As it stands, LOL looks like it would not bring teens back to Facebook, unless the app undergoes drastic changes from its current beta state.



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