Facebook closes down Creative Labs; removes Slingshot, Riff, and Rooms from the App Store

Happy app removal day! After Dropbox announced plans to wind down its ill-fated Mailbox and Carousel apps, Facebook just pulled a Dropbox by confirming it, too, is shutting down a few apps of its own that have failed to gain much traction with users: Slingshot, Riff and Rooms.

As reported by CNET recently, Facebook has decided to close down Creative Labs, the source of many different Facebook apps over the years. That includes a Snapchat competitor called Slingshot, which launched in June of 2014; Riff, the app that let friends create videos together which launched in June of this year; and, Rooms, an app meant to build forums for people to talk about whatever they wanted, which launched in October of 2014.

These apps have ceased development, and, moreover, are no longer available within the iOS App Store. Creative Labs will also be shutting down. The features that were baked into the aforementioned apps will now be integrated into other Facebook services, including the main app proper, and the Messenger app.

“A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text – not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whoever created the room,” Zuck & Co. boasted at the time.

Rooms tried (too) hard to replicate the Internet bulletin boards that used to be all the rage in the 1980s. The problem is, the 1980s were forty years ago.

“Facebook said it will still experiment with new apps, and support initiatives like Instagram’s Hyperlapse video and Layouts photo editor,” as per CNET. In the meantime, join me in saying good-byes to Rooms, Riff and Slingshot.


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