Yes, Facebook's taking on TikTok with Instagram Reels, it's looking into newsletters following Twitter's recent acquisition of Revue, and it's also considering a challenge to Clubhouse and the rise of audio social with its own, replicant feature.
The Social Network is 'taking inspiration' on many competitive fronts, and that approach doesn't look like stopping any time soon.
This week, Facebook's NPE or 'New Product Experimentation' team appears to have launched a new, live test of its coming 'Super' app, which is its challenger for Cameo, the app through which you can pay for celebrity shout-outs within video chats.
As you can see here, the Super website, spotted by social media expert Matt Navarra, provides a listing of coming live stream events, which you can sign-up to attend.
Tap through on any event and you're taken to a dedicated event screen, with a countdown to the start time.
You can sign-in to register (though, interestingly, signing in via Facebook is not an option at this stage), which also enables you to flag your interest in limited one-on-one sessions with the guest.
As you can see here, the one-on-one chat option is free for this test event, but celebrities will also be able to charge for each, providing another means to generate revenue through the tool.
The platform also includes a listing of past Super events, which you can also view.
Right now, these are just basic, short examples of video interviews, hosted on YouTube, so it seems like this is mostly a demo site for how the system will work. But eventually, the idea will be that Super facilitates high-profile interviews and interactions, while also providing celebrity video messages, along similar lines to the Cameo approach.
Bloomberg first reported that Facebook was working on Super back in December, noting that Super will enable creators, entrepreneurs or celebrities to host live, interactive video events.
"Viewers can tip creators by buying them digital gifts, or pay to “appear” alongside a creator during the live-stream to ask a question or take a selfie, according to a person familiar with the new feature, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the product hasn’t been announced publicly. Creators will also be able to sell merchandise or other products alongside the live-stream."
That's exactly what this example shows - while of particular interest here is that at least one of these Super events has also been promoted directly on Facebook, which expands on the reach capacity of the tool.
As you can see here, this link, shared by @GadgetsBoy, connects Facebook's audience back to the Super app. Tap on the 'View Event' CTA and you're then asked to log in to Super for more info.
That covers one of the key potential flaws we noted in the original overview of the app - with Facebook's NPE team creating a separate app, as opposed to building the platform within Facebook/Instagram, that could eliminate Facebook's scale advantage, which could give it a significant leg-up over Cameo, and make it a more competitive option. This in-Facebook notification prompt covers off on that - which won't be welcome news for the Cameo team.
Cameo has seen steady growth over the past few years - according to TechCrunch, Cameo is now fulfilling more than 2,000 video requests, on average, every day. The app recently announced plans to launch a new capital funding round in order to build a range of new features.
As reported by The Information:
"The four-year-old startup, last valued at $300 million, plans to introduce new money-making features such as subscriptions and in-app video chat."
Video chat, you say? Like paying for a one-on-one session with a celebrity?
It's still early in Super's development, so we don't have a full scale of the app's potential functionality. But the features displayed in this new test, along with the integration with Facebook/Instagram will no doubt be a concern for Cameo and its growth plans.
We'll keep you updated on any progress.