Facebook kills Creative Labs, cuts support for mobile apps

Slingshot, Riff, and Rooms get zapped by Zuck

Facebook has confirmed it is getting rid of its Creative Labs brand and axing three projects in what looks to be a strategic shift for the social giant.

A spokesperson confirmed to The Register that Facebook will be removing its Snapchat-like phone app Slingshot, Riff (which only launched in April), and internet chat forum Rooms from the iOS and Android app stores.

"Since their launches, we've incorporated elements of Slingshot, Riff, and Rooms into the Facebook for iOS and Android apps," the spokesperson said.

"We haven't updated these apps in some time and we've decided to officially end support by removing them from the App Store and Google Play."

The takedown comes less than 18 months after Facebook first introduced Slingshot in its efforts to challenge Snapchat. Likewise, the Rooms app was a relatively new arrival, introduced in October of 2014 as a solution for Facebook's hidden identity problem. Riff was unveiled in April of this year.

Given the rapid transition from "new" to "neglected" to "gone," it's safe to say that none of the three Apps was able to get much traction with users.

The move comes amidst the end of Facebook's Creative Labs banner, a name given to the firm's effort to expand its core social network with additional apps and services. As Facebook noted in its announcement, some features from the apps have also been added to the Facebook mobile apps themselves, giving little reason for separate apps.

This just hours after file-sharing specialist DropBox said two of its own mobile products, Mailbox and Carousel, would be cut, as it had found users were opting to use features integrated into one application rather than switch between multiple apps.

This could suggest more vendors, both in the consumer and enterprise spaces, may be looking to scale back efforts to "expand" with new apps and instead focus on a core service or application. ®


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