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Facebook has decided to shutdown its standalone app division

Periscope and Vine proved that Twitter is perfectly capable of releasing successful standalone apps, but Facebook’s many attempts to do the same haven’t been quite as successful. Other than Messenger, which doesn’t even count because it’s an original Facebook feature that was spun off into a separate app, Facebook’s standalone apps haven’t been very popular. The fact that most people don’t even know what Rooms or Slingshot are attests to this fact, which is why the company has decided to shut down the division that’s responsible for developing them. 

It’s a sad day for standalone apps. After Dropbox announced it is shutting down Mailbox and Carousel, Facebook is pulling the plug on its suite of standalone apps. According to CNET, Facebook is quietly shutting down its Creative Labs division. Creative Labs was tasked with creating unique standalone apps that experimented with Facebook’s social capabilities but also lived beyond the network. On Monday, Facebook pulled three Creative Labs apps from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. The affected apps include Slingshot, a Snapchat-like messaging app; Riff, for “riffing” on viral videos; and Rooms, an anonymous chatroom app. Even though these apps are no longer available on the app stores, Facebook says that users who previously downloaded them can still use them. People will be able to still post on Rooms until December 23. Facebook did not give any final posting day for Slingshot or Riff. The fact that Facebook is shutting down its Creative Labs doesn’t mean that all of the apps that came out of it were failures. Paper redesigned the News Feed in magazine-style, Mentions is used by famous folks to manage their Facebook followings, and Moments is a private photo-sharing app that relies on Facebook’s social graph to identify friends.

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