Apps that Died and Barely Made it out Alive of 2018.
The Tech world is unforgiving, be it in new comers in startup land or the old vets such as Google. You’re here today, gone tomorrow, becoming digital dust as you never existed.
Let’s take a quick peek at some apps that entered the app graveyard, and others that managed to stay alive.
The internet is old enough to create a bit of nostalgia at this point. Admit it, you feel it bit when looking through the Wayback Machine. Given that StumbleUpon has been around since the early 2000s, fans weren’t going to take the news of a shutdown lightly.
Garrett Camp explains the shutdown and the move to Mix in this Medium article. Comment sections aren’t always kind, though StumbleUpon had some serious loyalty it appears. When you think about, not many sites or apps last 16 years. Many are lucky to last a fraction of that. At the time of this writing, Mix is still in the mix in the app store and moving along.
Yahoo Messenger App
It’s possible no tech graveyard has a higher count than Yahoo. Another post on another day, though we can chalk up Yahoo Messenger into that count. Yahoo called it quits on their message service in July 2018. This was a popular messaging app back in its heyday though it has face much tougher competition over recent years. Chat apps such as Kik, WhatsApp, We Chat, Slack, Signal, Telegram, Facebook Messenger have all made for a tough, evolving market.
If nothing else, Yahoo has become a great case study for how a giant company, that had so much influence over the early years of the tech industry, can dwindle down to the point of a cheap aquision.
Ever wonder why there isn’t a user friendly way to search for people on Snapchat. Instead you have to have their Snapcode to scan or their exact user name. Well Ghost Codes was the app that came to the rescue and solved that problem, all while creating their own little social media platform in and of its own. And then it ghosted the world it August. Well it didn’t exactly ghost us without saying goodbye, though it didn’t leave much explanation either. A quick 48 hour heads up on Twitter and that was that. It was a neat tool that proved incredibly useful for a few years.
Seems Google has never quite been able to crack the social media market. Shutting Google Plus down wasn’t much of a surprise when it was announced, as the app wasn’t all that popular. What was surprising, was their reasoning and timing. Google made this announcement in October noting there was a bug in there system they fixed up back in March. They claimed there was no evidence of any data misuse, but decided to shut the operation down in April 2019.
Add Google + to the Google social media graveyard. Waiting for their arrival next spring is Orkut, Buzz, Dodgeball, and Lively. Google certainly does try and that is a good thing for the end user. Headed into 2019, there is a wave of people that are pushing back against big tech and social media companies, making it difficult for any company to come out with a new social network without rethinking concept as a hole.
I suppose not a huge surprise, but it sounds like Path had its share of diehards. It limited a person’s friend count to 50 at first. They eventually raised that number to 150, only to remove friend limits in December 2016. It was a nice alternative to Instagram, and meant to create a more personal experience with connections. Got rid of the whole “look at me” or “buy this product” aspect of other social sites that are difficult to avoid.
Either way, Path wrapped it up after an 8 year run. RIP Path.
This one really isn’t a death as much of an acquisition, a $1 billion one at that. Chinese company Bytedance merged Music.ly into it’s app Tik Tok, so theoretically it is still around just in a different form.
I can remember people always asking Gary Vaynerchuk what the next big app was going to be, and he would often say he’s keeping an eye on Music.ly. Well someone was keeping an eye on it to the toon of a cool billion.
Here are a few apps that had an eventful 2018.
Tumblr – Had a near death experience and granted a second shot at life.
Another one of Yahoo’s children, Tumblr was doing somethings while the parents weren’t looking. They were temporarily kicked off of Apple’s App Store due to adult content, specifically porn. Apparently, there were other issues such as gore, bots, and plenty more. The app store has since let Tumblr back into the mix, though they aren’t likely to be the last app banned for this type of content.
Speaking of being under the Yahoo umbrella, there was a time where Tumblr was meant to be Yahoo’s.. Well not sure what it was meant to be after purchasing it from David Karp for a cool $1.1 billion on May of 2013. Their answer to social media? Their version of Pinterest, maybe? That was during the Katie Couric years at Yahoo and she was to be “the face” of Tumblr, but none of that materialized, the way it was planned. Maybe we see Tumblr target a new generation this year, maybe not.
Peach – On life Support
Peach is one of those apps that seem to have been on life support since it came out. It’s a social network that got hot in late 2015, only to fizzle out just quick. Peach creator Dom Hoffman, also co-created the everyone’s favorite six second video app, Vine. By the way, Hoffman is bringing the next iteration of Vine to life in 2019. The new app will be called Byte, and Vine fans are sharpening their creative skills in the meantime.
This may explain why Peach is in the condition it is in. It looks like the ghost town with not much self explanatory functions. The app has “magic words” that allow different features to appear. Too me the bigger problem is finding anyone to connect with that actually uses it. We’ll keep an eye on this one throughout 2019.
Vero – Didn’t become the Instagram killer, didn’t die either.
Remember how Vero came out of nowhere in late February, early March in 2018. Hyped as the savior to Instagram’s always hated algorithm, and the new social media platform that doesn’t want our data. There was concern over who had access to your data even and what would be done with it regardless of what was stated publicly.
Well Instagram is still around and so are all the other major social media giants. Vero is still around too, though not much talk about it since its initial boom in exposure. It is possible it has better traction in certain parts of the world and it’s dead in others. All I can say, is anyone I was originally connected to has dropped off, nor can I even find any accounts I recognize anymore.
Onto the next year we go, and there should be no shortage of cool new apps hitting the market along with the sad demise of others. As the stock market goes into a free fall as 2018 wraps up, it’ll be interesting to see what apps will be thriving and what apps will have their founders writing postmortems. All eyes on 2019.