In the shadow of Facebook's announcement for third-party app development on Messenger, the company has announced the release of a whole new application called Riff, a creative tool for making videos with friends.
The best way to describe this new app is to compare it to one that most of us are familiar with. Riff is essentially Snapchat's "Stories" feature, only your Facebook friends have the ability to add on to your video. There's no commenting, liking, or up-voting involved, just viewing and contributing.
As you may have already figured out, it starts off by signing in with your Facebook account. Once you're in, you can look through the featured videos or begin filming your own. Videos cannot be edited or use a multi-shot feature like Vine; they're just a one-time recording that can last up to twenty seconds. As the original creator, you'll have the option to control your video by being able to delete what others add-on.
Your buddies will also need to sign into Riff using their Facebook login, after which they'll be able to see your video. Using the plus button, your friends can record reactions or just contribute to the video in any way they want—this is usually done by sticking with the theme of the video's tag. Riff videos posted to Facebook will automatically tag all of the contributors.
Facebook's last video app venture, Slingshot—which tried to compete with Snapchat's already-established service—didn't bode so well for the company (it was a complete flop). But hey, when you're as big as Facebook, you can afford to take chances, and I see real potential for Riff.
These days, all my friends on Snapchat use the Stories feature, so the ability to respond or contribute to the videos, as Riff allows, makes it a lot more inclusive, fun, and interactive. Only time will tell whether Riff has what it takes to stick around. I'll be using it, but will you give it a try? Let us know.