Facebook is still trying to figure out how to keep youngsters happy. Earlier, Facebook confirmed they are testing a new meme hub called 'LOL' on a small scale, with not more than 100 beta users. Now, multiple reports have emerged saying Facebook has chucked 'LOL' for another app, Messenger Kids.
Messenger Kids is Facebook's year-old controversial effort aimed at children who are under 13 and it has been criticised heavily by experts who claim Messenger Kids violates the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA)and is harmful to children and teenagers.
Facebook's plans to put an end to 'LOL' comes days after TechCrunch's investigation caught Facebook paying teens up to $20 plus referral fees per month to be able to spy on their devices.
"The youth team has restructured in order to match top business priorities, including increasing our investment in Messenger Kids," said Facebook spokesperson.
Facebook was working with 100 high school students who were granted access to LOL after they signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with parental consent. Facebook's "parental consent" has often been questioned, especially after TechCrunch's investigation into their Research program earlier this month.
According to leaked screenshots, LOL was likely to provide users with a carousel of themed collections similar to Snapchat's Discover feature. Users could filter out categories like “Wait For It,” “Savage,” “Classics,” “Gaming” etc.
Facebook LOL was likely to deliver a whole new feed of funny videos, GIFs, pranks etc. Reasons behind Facebook's move to halt LOL remain a mystery.
We had earlier said Facebook LOL may not matter much to its target audience if became a standalone app, especially now when Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is discussing plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger in the future.
Facebook is trying to cope with so many strategic woes concerning teenagers. Facebook dating app is yet to embark its presence in India. It's pretty obvious that India is one of the key markets for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg can't afford to miss out on an opportunity to increase that growth rate even further by introducing Facebook dating app in India.
Recently, Facebook-owned Instagram announced its plans to push out IGTV previews in the app's main feed. Although youngsters don't seem happy about the decision, Instagram wants to drive more IGTV content to Instagram's main feed, at the expense of clogging up the feed to a huge extent.