Facebook today ended its Creative Labs project, which was designed to allow its engineers to come up with unique and innovative smartphone and tablet apps. With the shuttering of Creative Labs, several of the apps that came out of the program are being shut down and removed from the App Store.

Slingshot, Rooms, and Riff, all apps that were released across 2014 and 2015, are no longer available in the App Store. Slingshot, announced in June of 2014, was an ephemeral messaging app modeled after Snapchat, but with a slight twist. Before viewing a message or a photo, the recipient was required to send a message back.

facebookdefunctapps
Rooms, launched in October of 2014, allowed users to create anonymous invite-only chat rooms based around specific themes, while Riff, announced in April 2015, was designed to let users create collaborative video mashups with their friends.

Despite being backed by Facebook, none of the now-defunct apps managed to catch on with users and thus received a limited number of updates from the company. Riff, for example, was never updated since it was released in April, and Slingshot and Rooms were last updated in March and July of 2015, respectively.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the end of Creative Labs in a statement to CNET, noting none of the apps had been updated for some time and many of the features have been added into the company's primary apps. "Since their launches, we've incorporated elements of Slingshot, Riff and Rooms into the Facebook for iOS and Android apps."

While none of the apps are available for download, Slingshot continues to be functional for existing users for the time being, while Rooms will be available until it's closed on December 23.

Paper, the first and most successful app to come out of Facebook's Creative Labs effort, remains available in the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

LordQ Avatar
72 months ago
And when is Facebook shutting down?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
72 months ago
Do these people at Facebook not realize how Facebook started and why it ended up being successful?

Facebook started out as a hyperfocused product for only Harvard students. It was perfectly tailored for them with their class schedules, ways with talking with classmates and teachers, seeing things happening on campus, etc. It was an indispensable tool for many at Harvard.

After a year of cementing itself at Harvard, they spread out to other Ivy schools. They lost some of the special, just for Harvard features, but they kept enough that most students from Harvard stayed on and told friends at other Ivy schools to join.

Then they spread to other colleges.

Then they spread to high schools and work places.

Then they threw open the doors and let everyone 13 and older join.

This is a classic class case study for how successful products are made. You start with a hyperfocused group of users where everything is perfectly tailored for them, and then gradually increase pace as you broaden your scope.

Slingshot, and most of their other products, flopped because they didn't have anyone they were targeting. They weren't tailor made to solve any particular problems, so nobody picked them up. Same with Google Plus. Same with so many other failed products.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pushingrobot Avatar
72 months ago
Aaaand escalate an appendage if you thought this was about the sound card company.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
modemthug Avatar
72 months ago
They really named it Creative Labs?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
72 months ago

Slingshot, and most of their other products, flopped because they didn't have anyone they were targeting. They weren't tailor made to solve any particular problems, so nobody picked them up. Same with Google Plus. Same with so many other failed products.
Slingshot targeted Snapchat.
Rooms targeted textPlus and some other similar apps.
Riff targeted Vine.
Google Plus targeted Facebook.

See a trend here? The problem they solved is their owners missed the boat on some social app and felt they needed to catch up.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alenore Avatar
72 months ago
And when is Facebook shutting down?
When no one will be talking about it anymore.
Including you.

It goes to show how hard it is to create a popular social app, even, or maybe even especially for a larger company. And how hard it is in general for one company with one popular product to make another one. Microsoft made Windows but what else? Google made Search but how Plus going? Apple made the Mac but... then only made a dozen enormously successful products.
Microsoft made Office and the Xbox
Google made Maps, Gmail, Android, Now, Google Docs, ...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
maxresdefault

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Sideloading Apps Would 'Destroy the Security' of the iPhone

Wednesday June 16, 2021 10:49 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook this morning participated in a virtual interview at the VivaTech conference, which is described as Europe's biggest startup and tech event. Cook was interviewed by Guillaume Lacroix, CEO and founder of Brut, a media company that creates short-form video content. Much of the discussion centered on privacy, as it often does in interviews that Cook participates in. He...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
m1 imac back

Some M1 iMac Models Shipping With Crooked Mountings

Monday June 14, 2021 12:50 pm PDT by
Some M1 iMacs appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes the display to be mounted on the stand in a way that's not perfectly aligned, leading to a crooked display. YouTuber iPhonedo over the weekend published a review of the M1 iMac, and he found that his machine appeared to be tilted on one side, a mounting disparity that was visibly noticeable and proved with a ruler. Another...
apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Thinner Screen Bezels, Faster Processor, and Updated Ultra Wideband Tech

Monday June 14, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to have thinner display bezels and use a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year -- with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 -- by adding a faster processor,...
files app ipados 15

iPadOS 15: Files App Gains NTFS Support, Progress Indicator, and More

Tuesday June 15, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
Apple in iPadOS 15 has added the ability to access NTFS-formatted media from within the Files app. The additional support for the Windows-related format, first discovered by YouTuber Steven Fjordstrøm, is read-only, so like on macOS you can't modify files stored on NTFS devices, but you can at least copy any data on them for working on elsewhere on your iPad. The Files app has also gotten a...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...
maxresdefault

Demo: Check Out AirPlay 2 on a Mac in macOS Monterey

Tuesday June 15, 2021 11:57 am PDT by
With macOS Monterey, Apple has introduced expanded AirPlay 2 support, so you can AirPlay content from an iPhone, iPad, or even another Mac to your main Mac. We thought we'd do a quick demo of this handy new feature in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. With AirPlay to Mac, you can extend or mirror an Apple device's display to a Mac, and since ...
apple new iphone case colors

Apple Releases New Sunflower, Cloud Blue and Electric Orange iPhone 12 Cases

Monday June 14, 2021 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today released silicone iPhone cases for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini in a series of new colors that include sunflower, cloud blue, and electric orange. Sunflower is a bright yellow shade, cloud blue is a soft, light blue, and electric orange is a bright orange that's darker than the kumquat color and more orange than pink citrus. The new cases are priced starting...
apple watch edition series 5 ceramic black prototype

Apple Planned Black Ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5

Wednesday June 16, 2021 5:45 am PDT by
Apple considered offering a black version of the ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5, according to newly-shared images of the prototype casing. The images, shared on Twitter by the prototype collector and leaker known as "Mr. White," show a prototype black ceramic Apple Watch casing, alongside the white ceramic version. The ceramic Apple Watch Edition Series 5 was never available in a...