Facebook shuts down Creative Labs, removes Slingshot, Riff and Rooms apps

Facebook shuts down Creative Labs, removes Slingshot, Riff and Rooms apps

Facebook has shut down Creative Labs, which emerged as a startup-like initiative to develop new mobile apps. The new move will result the removal of Slingshot, Riff and Rooms apps.

Creative Labs was Facebook’s prime source to develop some advanced mobile apps for Android and iOS platforms. It brought Snapchat competitor Slingshot, group messaging app Rooms and Twitter’s Vine-like video sharing app Riff in the recent past. It also launched Fliboard-like Paper app and brought groups under one roof with Groups app. Apart from the standalone apps, the team under Creative Labs released Stickered for Messenger app last year to let Facebook Messenger users add stickers to their personal photos.

In a statement to CNet, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the shut down. “Since their launches, we’ve incorporated elements of Slingshot, Riff and Rooms into the Facebook for iOS and Android apps,” the spokesperson said, adding: “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.”

Facebook's Creative Labs developed Slingshot

Facebook’s Slingshot 2.0 developed by Creative Labs

The shut down has already brought the end of Slingshot, Riff and Rooms apps. Slingshot was one of the most popular apps in the catalogue and was supported by a team of about 10 people. It already removed from Google Play Store and Apple App Store. However, Paper, Groups and Stickered for Messenger apps are still available for download.

Facebook used its Creative Labs team to counter companies such as Snapchat and Twitter. But the sudden end suggests that the company led by Mark Zuckerberg has moved its focus towards maintaining its existing social network, instead of expanding its presence on the Play Store and App Store. This, however, does not mean that Facebook will no longer develop new mobile apps. It has plans to support existing apps including Paper, Hyperlapse and Layouts in addition to the social network related Moments app.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook recently deployed a team to develop new technologies towards artificial intelligence. These technologies are likely to bolster the growth of Facebook Messenger with Siri-like M personal digital assistant and expand the social network that already has over 1.55 billion monthly active users.

With additional inputs by Jagmeet Singh

Categories: App News