Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 2.2 billion users, is all about scale, and so today it announced that it would be sunsetting three apps in its stable that simply weren’t. Hello, Moves and tbh will all be depreciated in the coming weeks, the company announced today. The three apps are being shut down at varying times we’re noting below. Facebook says that all user data from all three of these apps will be deleted within 90 days.
“We regularly review our apps to assess which ones people value most. Sometimes this means closing an app and its accompanying APIs,” said Facebook. “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 prioritize 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.”
All three are examples of the different angles that Facebook has explored over the year to develop its business into newer areas — not all of which have panned out.
Moves came to Facebook by way of an acquisition four years ago of the fitness and tracking app. At the time, Facebook appeared to be interested in exploring more about how people might use their Facebook social graphs to share more data about their own fitness regimes, and it might have been that the company saw that it could take a more direct role in that process, with Moves picking up four million downloads before the acquisition. However, the strategy did not bulk up much after that point. Moves the app hasn’t been updated in over a year, and it languishes at around 616 in the fitness category today. It will be shut down in the coming weeks, Facebook said.
Hello, launched in 2015, was part of Facebook’s wider strategy to build more communications services to bridge the gap with users, targeting those specifically in emerging markets. In the case of Hello, the app was Android-only and worked in the US, Nigeria and Brazil. The app is a bit like TrueCaller: people could link up their Facebook accounts to a dialler, which would then show you the Facebook identity of a caller, so that you could decide whether or not you would like to take the call. As with Moves, Hello came amid a time when many thought Facebook had big plans for communications, with rumors abounding of Facebook phones and Facebook wanting to take on carriers with its own voice services. Hello, however, never expanded — neither in geography nor features — and so now we say goodbye. The Moves app and its API are both getting depreciated on July 31.
TBH is the youngest of the apps to be getting the chop — in more ways than one. The “anonymous compliment” app, made specifically for teens, was only acquired by Facebook in October 2017. It was young and hardly ubiquitous when Facebook snapped it up, and although the company seemed interested in letting it run its course, to be honest, it’s no surprise to see it also go away. Facebook is not giving a date for its disappearance: the app is still live at the moment.
Facebook is no stranger to spring cleaning and clearing out unpopular apps as well as a wide swathe of other services such as APIs that are no longer core to what it’s working on. Other dead app efforts have included M, the personal assistant app, its Snapchat clone Lifestage and its Groups app. And just today, it issued a notice of several APIs that would be shut down to better reign in how its user data is tapped by third parties.