On February 26, 2021, Facebook launched its new experiment music video app BARS in U.S. app stores. The app, which is currently being beta tested, has been dubbed by netizens and media outlets alike as Facebook’s response to the social media giant TikTok.
The app seems to get its name from the term “bars,” which in hip-hop slang refers to rap lyrics. What’s interesting about it is that, when a user is done recording their rap video, it gets posted on a video feed for other users to watch and rate as “fire”—hip-hop slang that means “extremely good” or “on point.”
In addition, the app also advertises that it will provide users with “studio-quality vocal effects” and, for those who need a little help with hitting their notes, AutoTune. The app’s goal is to provide a space where aspiring rappers and artists can showcase their art without worrying about the cost of producing their music and sharing it with the world.
Now, if you’re just starting as a rapper and you’re concerned about not having any rhymes ready, don’t sweat it! BARS has you covered. Once a user launches the app, they will be led to a screen where they can choose their skill level in the rap game: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. The app is incredibly beginner-friendly, providing auto-rhyme dictionaries for those who are just learning to rap on the app. BARS can also suggest lines while users type in their lyrics. More advanced rappers are given the option to choose the app’s Freestyle mode, which provides users with eight random words to work into a 16-bar rap.
The BARS community manager, DJ Iyer, also known as D-lucks, took to Facebook’s NPE blog to alert Facebook’s community about the new app. According to DJ Iyer, the coronavirus pandemic is one of the main reasons for the app’s launch. With concerts and live events being canceled and postponed, the pandemic has badly affected artists, performers, and musicians across the globe. Additionally, it could be difficult for aspiring rappers to access recording studios and the equipment necessary to produce their music. They hope that with the app, artists can more easily share their music with the world.
While BARS certainly sounds like an exciting new app to navigate, users will have to wait a little bit longer to explore all of its features. As mentioned, the app is currently in its beta testing stage, which means it is only available to a select group of users. However, users can already sign up and create their usernames. They will receive a notification when the app is ready for use.
BARS isn’t Facebook’s first effort to make music more accessible to artists and musicians. In May of 2020, the company’s NPE team revealed that they were working on an app called Collab, which musicians could use to create music and collaborate with other artists without needing to be physically together. In December of 2020, the app was made available for users in the United States.
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