Social media giant Facebook (META 7.19%) has developed a rival to Pinterest (PINS 7.89%), quietly launching an app called Hobbi on Thursday. Hobbi, like Pinterest, allows users to collect and manage images related to their own projects. Unlike Pinterest, though, Hobbi is only available as a stand-alone app, and only available at the Apple app store. That may change as Facebook learns more about how users utilize the platform.
Pinterest was launched in 2010 to a curious but somewhat confused crowd who had never seen a social networking site primarily meant to store and share pictures found on the web. The ad-supported platform proved compelling though, as more than 335 million users now log in to the website at least once per month. Quarterly revenue grew to more than $400 million during the final three months of last year. Those numbers pale in comparison to Facebook's 2.5 billion monthly users and the $21.1 billion worth of revenue they helped create last quarter, but a Pinterest-like option could funnel new users into the Facebook fold where they're monetized in other ways.
This isn't Facebook's first effort to imitate another popular web app. It has introduced several features within its apps and websites that closely resemble those already developed by Snapchat, the rival social media app from Snap. Most notable among those replications is the development of Stories for Facebook's Instagram, as well as for Facebook.com itself.
Not every digital experiment Facebook performs necessarily turns into an official, revenue-bearing product. The company has cautioned that such platform launched by its New Product Experimentation unit are still subject to outright cancellation, and Facebook has yet to offer an official acknowledgment that the Hobbi app is live.