Facebook is the largest social network in the world and one of the most visited addresses on the web too. Moreover, they have the most popular app in North America (Facebook for mobile), together with Facebook Messenger which comes in third, and Instagram on the 9th place as of August 2015. Additionally, the social network also owns WhatsApp, one of the most popular instant messaging apps out there, with more than a billion users. However, this huge success on its main apps is not translated to other projects from Zuckerberg’s company and Facebook has recently announced that they will be shutting down Slingshot, Rooms and Riff, together with their Creative Labs initiative, which was meant to bring apps like the ones mentioned before to life.
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If you are unfamiliar with them, Slingshot was an attempt to compete with Snapchat, which Facebook failed to buy. Released on June 2014, Slingshot allowed users to send ephemeral photos and videos combined with notes and doodles. Riff, released back in April, is a short-lived collaborative video app that tried to create a “snowball” – you first add a video and put some tags, then your friends can see it and add their own videos on top of it, then your friend’s friends can also see the video and the thing gets going. Last but not least comes Rooms, an app released in October 2014, aimed to be the forum environment for the mobile era.
Although it may seem shocking, the closure of these apps doesn’t mean the hard work of the teams behind it will be simply discarded. Facebook has been introducing several features to its main mobile app, and these features are also a result of experiments taken on apps such as these 3 soon-to-be resting in peace. Today the tech world was taken by surprise by another shutdown, as Dropbox announced that they will be killing both Mailbox and Carousel apps, as these apps failed to garner excitement from a large base of users and the company wants to focus on their main product, the cloud storage platform. The Facebook apps have already been removed from both the Play Store and App Store, and Mailbox and Carousel will still work until early next year.