With the social networking industry moving so quickly, it’s become important for the major players to continue innovating and releasing new products in a variety of different categories. Twitter has already released Vine, and Instagram moved into video as well.
Now, Facebook has taken a chance on something different by introducing Paper, a type of aggregating app that does a better job of stripping out news and stories from the user’s News Feed and producing them in a more visually satisfying format. The idea of the app is that users spend more time in Paper thinking about the content they want to share, while stripping away some of the information they may not want to see in the main Facebook app.
But this isn’t Facebook’s biggest announcement of the day. Alongside its launch, the social network said this app had been produced by a new division within the company – Facebook Creative Labs.
Rather than a restructuring of the organisation, Facebook Labs refers to a system whereby employees can form groups to experiment with different types of products which will hopefully reach commercialisation. Facebook Paper is the first project to be born out of these meetings.
Tech companies have been traditionally keen on allowing employees to come up with new products in their own time – Google’s 20% time has been copied by various start-ups as well. But as these companies grow larger it becomes more difficult to track these projects and actually achieve commercial outcomes from them.
With Facebook’s 6,000 employees, such a feat becomes nearly impossible. But by conceiving a structure where creativity can thrive, the enterprise allows the possibility for creativity and agile problem-solving.
This is where the importance of agile development techniques becomes so important. As enterprises grow, their capacity for rapid digital innovation becomes tighter. Making room for creativity and rapid development will only become more important.