Facebook closes three apps you probably didn’t know existed
Facebook giveth, and Facebook taketh away. While Google seems to hold onto apps long after they’ve failed to take off (witness the ridiculous number of chatting apps the company is still keeping alive, despite their obvious overlap), Facebook takes a more decisive brutal approach. Today Facebook has announced that three apps are being killed off: Hello, Moves and tbh.
Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking:
…which is likely the reason Facebook has decided to call time on them. But here’s a quick obituary for all three anyway.
Of the three, tbh has the most reason to feel slightly aggrieved. Only bought by Facebook eight months ago, the company was set up to create a positive app for teens immune from the cyberbullying of Yik Yak or Secret. The answer was a series of polls about users’ peers where there were only positive answers. At the time of its acquisition, it had 2.5 million daily active users despite being limited to an iOS version and only active in 35 states, but clearly teens are fickle – who knew? On the bright side, the app only cost Facebook $100 million, which is kind of like dropping a penny: technically you’re poorer for it, but do you care enough to pick it up?
Elsewhere, there’s Moves. That’s another app that works on the premise that you don’t really need a fitness tracker on your wrist if you carry your phone around with you everywhere. Another Facebook acquisition, Moves has been under Facebook control since 2014, but there are plenty of other apps that do similar things now – including Google Fit which is bundled with most Android phones – and it’s safe to say that Facebook hasn’t been putting much of its full marketing grunt behind it.
Finally there’s Hello: an Android dialer only available in Brazil, Nigeria and the United States. Like Moves, Android dialers are hardly difficult to come by, and the Facebook-branded version struggled to offer much more than what was readily available elsewhere.
In all three cases, the apps are being closed because they simply aren’t being used very much, and the company has decided it makes more sense to dedicate its resources elsewhere. “We regularly review our apps to assess which ones people value most,” the company wrote in a blog post that managed the rare feat of combining a pun headline with bad news. “Sometimes this means closing an app and its accompanying APIs. We know some people are still using these apps and will be disappointed — and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support. But we need to prioritise our work so we don’t spread ourselves too thin. And it’s only by trial and error that we’ll create great social experiences for people.”
Remember: for every Facebook app acquisition that doesn’t do the business there’s a WhatsApp and Instagram that definitely does.