The internal R&D group of Facebook, NPE Team, has officially launched its most recent app, E.gg, to a wider audience. The app, described as a “digital zine creator” and “GIF collage bonanza” freeform development tool, was announced earlier this year but until now it was only onboarding users through a waitlist. Today, it is available for anyone to download from the App Store.
The app allows users to create and share canvases that are essentially “artsy” collages of mixed media created using a combination of text, pictures, and/or GIFs. The latter leverages Facebook’s acquisition of May’s Giphy GIF repository. E.gg will send its own unique URL to something you build, enabling anyone to access your content even if they don’t have the app installed themselves.
If you do use E.gg, however, you can directly search through the work of other people in the app. And when you find something you like on their pages, you can easily reuse the content with attribution on your own pages.
“Facebook product manager Jason Toff described it as an “experimental new forum for strange and wonderful expressions of who you are and what you love” when first launching E.gg this summer, adding that the inspiration for the project was the “raw and exploratory spirit of the early Interwebz.
In other words, because users were playing with what was possible, from dancing baby GIFs to bad font choices to tacky website backgrounds, the early days of the web resulted in a lot more strange and offbeat innovation.
The question that E.gg seeks to answer is whether a more innovative low-pressure instrument will allow people to express themselves more openly.
Facebook says people used E.gg during their beta testing process to create fan pages, guides, tributes, profiles, collages, recipes, and more.
Unfortunately, the app was also met with concerns during its beta phase from artists who thought it was stealing their work. They said the instrument had been pulled in without permission or credit in their GIFs. At the time Facebook reacted to the problems and noted that the reason the app was still in a beta testing process was to get input on the kind of issues it wanted to address before going live. The company said it would hold off expanding E.gg until these issues were resolved.
Facebook claims that it has solved the problems of attribution. The “attribution” button at the bottom left of each page is being checked on the desktop. You can press “pieces” on the mobile to see who the art is the company says.
E.gg is available from the iOS App Store in the United States as a free download. Via http:/e.gg, users can also access a few sample creations.
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