Facebook quietly launched an interesting new experimental app this week. As you may know, Facebook has an R&D division that builds new app ideas that typically don’t have anything to do with Facebook at all. The team, called NPE, builds new “apps and experiences”.
So far, NPE has released a couple of apps — mostly recently, it released an iPhone app for couples to stay in touch within a private space. This week, it released Kit, a new Apple Watch app, that takes a different approach to the typical NPE products.
Kit, or Keep in Touch, is a new Apple Watch app from Facebook’s NPE team, and it allows users to keep in touch with their closest contact. The service actually works through Facebook Messenger, which is a first for any NPE product, reports TechCrunch. NPE products typically don’t connect to Facebook at all, but Kit is different — to get started, you first have to connect to your Facebook account so you can send messages via Messenger.
Once set-up, you have to choose a contact you want to keep in touch with. Kit lets you send a message via voice messages, emojis, or scribbling on your Apple Watch. You can also quickly share your location. The app lets you receive and respond to messages as you would expect.
The idea behind Kit is interestingly mainly because Facebook already has an Apple Watch app for Messenger. However, with Kit, you can only keep in touch with one person at a time. You have to first pick a single contact to start using Kit, and if you want to communicate with anyone else, you will have to switch to that person from the app’s settings.
So yes, it is a little weird, but that’s what experiments are for. You can try out Kit here if you have an Apple Watch.