Facebook's R&D division, the NPE Team, has introduced another experimental app that's centered around music. It's called BARS, and it's meant to give aspiring rappers a way to record their rhymes with the app's studio quality vocal effects and professionally created beats, as well as to share their videos on social media. Users can select from the several beats available, and if they write in-app, BARS will auto—suggest words that rhyme with what they're typing
The app has audio and visual filters and an autotune feature that users can take advantage of to create a polished product. There's also Challenge mode, wherein users will have to rap freestyle while incorporating the auto-suggested word cues. As TechCrunch notes, BARS seems to be another attempt at a TikTok competitor, albeit a specialized one, seeing as each video can only be up to 60 seconds in length. The app even has a similar UI, with a two-tabbed vertical video interface.
Late last year, the NPE team released the experimental app Collab, which allows users to collaborate on music videos without having to get together in person. The team told TechCrunch that the pandemic played a role in the creation of both apps. "I know access to high-priced recording studios and production equipment can be limited for aspiring rappers. On top of that, the global pandemic shut down live performances where we often create and share our work," team member member DJ Iyler told the publication.
Facebook has launched BARS as a closed beta for iPhones, with its first videos uploaded by members of the team. It's currently up on the App Store, and interested rappers can now download it to reserve their username and sign up for the waitlist.