Facebook Shutters Creative Labs, Along with Three Apps

creative labs shutdown
Facebook has quietly closed down its Creative Labs initiative, that let employees design and create innovative and unusual mobile software in a startup-like environment, along with three of the apps that had emerged from the program.

Creative Labs ran for the past two years, and was based on the hackathons from Facebooks earliest days, when programmers and developers would create prototype apps and services over the course of a day.

The first app to be killed off is Slingshot, Facebooks ephemeral photo-messaging service that was a clear attempt to to compete with Snapchat. The app failed to gain traction with consumers, and certainly never approached the level of popularity that Snapchat claims. The app (along with the other two scheduled to be shut down) has been removed from the iOS and Android app stores, and has ceased working.

Rooms, an anonymous group messaging service from Creative Labs that aimed to emulate the chat rooms of the early internet, is scheduled to be shut down on 23 December, while Riff, which enabled users to create chains of videos based around similar subjects, will also be closed down in the near future.

“Since their launches, weve incorporated elements of Slingshot, Riff and Rooms into the Facebook for iOS and Android apps,” said a Facebook spokesperson in a statement to CNET. “Were continuing to embrace the spirit of creative risk-taking by continuing to allow some smaller development teams within the company to experiment with new ideas for standalone apps.”

Facebook will continue to support some of the other apps that have emerged from Creative Labs, including news app Paper, photo-sharing app Moments, and Mentions, the app designed for celebrities and other verified Facebook users.