Facebook is now shutting down its personal project documenting app, Hobbi, as of July 10. That’s according to recent reports detailing the shutdown and associated push notifications. The app is informing users that they will have until that date to download their data via an export. After that time, it will be lost.
The export tool can be found in the settings menu for the app. Facebook’s internal R&D group, the NPE Team, developed the app and launched it in February. But the launch only appears to have made it as far as iOS before it became obvious that it wasn’t taking off. That ultimately appears to be the reason for its demise.
So users will want to export their data as soon as possible.
What was Hobbi and why is nobody using it?
Hobbi, as the pronunciation of its branding implies, was an app for documenting hobbies. Specifically, that was meant for hobbies such as gardening, cooking, crafts, and other DIY categories. Set up as a way for users to organize photos of their ongoing projects, it served as a digital diary of those. Users would take photos of their projects over the course of those being completed. Some text could be added for descriptive purposes.
Of course, viewing other users’ projects wasn’t part of the design, making the app a step or two further from other similar experiences offered elsewhere. Summarily, it was not a social-heavy app.
Instead, it was more akin to memories in the main Facebook app. Namely, it provided users a way to sort and review things they’ve accomplished in the past. That way, they could be relived later. Or, thanks to the “Notes” feature, they could be undertaken again, if that’s what users wanted to do.
A highlight reel of those steps could be exported elsewhere once finished. But, again, the end-goal was very obviously not for the app to be social by nature. That seems to have contributed to its downfall, at least at the surface level.
Social-focused apps have the benefit of rapid growth fueled by users prompting friends and family to join up. That wasn’t the case with Hobbi. Since launching in February, Hobbi only garnered between 7,000 and 10,000 downloads. That’s based on separate estimates put together by Sensor Tower and Apptopia. Its growth was effectively stagnant. And the fact that it was only available on Apple gadgets likely didn’t help.
Some alternatives do still exist on Android for those who want them
Facebook-built Hobbi may not be all but gone but there are still some alternatives. At the very least, there are for Android users who may have been hoping for just such an app. Google-associated Area 120, for instance, recently launched Keen. Like Hobbi, Keen is interest-focused, allowing users to track their own hobbies and topics of interest. But Keen takes things a step further. In short, it allows users to curate and collaborate content centered around those interests.
Similarly, Area 120’s recently launched social short-video app Tangi, offers users a Pinterest-like way to “teach and give.” Those words are, in fact, part of the reason the app’s called Tangi. Specifically, users can upload short-form videos related to ‘exploration and creativity’. Those are shared across categories ranging from art, DIY projects, and cooking, to fashion, style, and crafting. Videos are up to 60-seconds in length and placed on card-based UI to navigate. A top-bar search box is presented as well.
Within videos in Tangi, users are offered a button to try out the project for themselves and document it.
Of course, that’s looking past the plethora of similarly-designed apps available in the already crowded creative/DIY documentation and sharing category. So it’s hardly surprising that Hobbi didn’t quite manage to break through the wide array of similar, already-popular apps.