As the social network looks for ways to remain relevant to people’s digital lives now and in the future, a new report indicates that the company is looking to growing industries in both the consumer and business spaces to thrive.

This is according to a report in the New York Times, in which three people with knowledge of the New Product Experiment team spoke. Its purpose is to pursue the relentless innovation that will keep it relevant, and not go the way of the platforms Facebook itself displaced.

Among these new initiatives, the Times finds, the division – which Facebook set up in July as a separate LLC – is working on apps and tools for making podcasts, workplace services, and newsletters, as well as travel ideas as part of its remit to “develop new types of experiences for people”.

Some of these experiences, according to the NYT’s sources, include disrupting audio news based on the massive amounts of information Facebook has thanks to users’ news feeds. Elsewhere, its travel ideas involve combining itinerary services with the most Instagrammable locations.

The fact that any new developments are going out under the aegis of the “NPE Team, from Facebook”, has prompted some sources close to the matter to suggest it is a way of testing new ideas without the baggage of the mothership brand. However, if this were so, it would run in stark contrast to the new unifying brand efforts around WhatsApp and Instagram, both of which will carry ‘from Facebook’, in an effort to “better communicate our ownership structure”.  Facebook says it is to prepare people for the failures inherent in creating and testing new ideas and to cause as little disruption to the brand.

Still, its development as an innovation team suggests some valuable lessons from a company with a solid track record of new ideas. The team has been broken down into five “pods” or teams of between 10 and 15 people who will work on the ideation for different projects. Each team can then create, develop, test and learn from. Some apps, such as the music app Aux and a student matchmaking app called Bump, are live and available for consumers.

If Facebook still enjoys an advantage, it's consumer data. This not only helps it find a likely audience of early fans to test any new ideas, but also allows it to broadcast their presence to a colossal global audience.

Sourced from the New York Times