It’s so sad to see some of my favorite apps going away. PicPlz – Android’s competitor to Instagram – is going away. I got the notice to download my photos last week. I only had a few dozen pics on it, so I’m now in the process of moving them to my Flickr account. This week it’s Meebo. Meebo was an IM service, but it was unique in that it also logged you into most other popular IM services and combined their features into a single app, so you only had to login to Meebo to connect to all of your messenger apps. Needing only one messenger login but having accounts on many of them was pretty sweet.
I think SMS is getting to so popular now, it’s starting to take over as the messenger of choice. Especially now that you can send pictures through it. Meebo and PicPlz had another major thing in common though: They both required some processing and storage, yet they were completely free services. Whether this factor had anything to do with their demise, I don’t know, but I think it’s an interesting coincidence.
Keep that in mind whenever you start relying heavily on a particular app or service… Do you pay for the service? If not, be warned. The service may not be around in the future, if they don’t have a continuous profitable channel of funding. As for Facebook, it’s not free. As they say, “If you’re not paying for a product, YOU are the product.” Facebook is selling you to its advertisers. Advertisers pay good money to make sure you see the specific ads that appear on the Facebook pages you visit. And when you start playing one of their games…JACKPOT! The advertiser and Facebook both make a bundle!
Don’t worry though, Facebook will probably be around for years. As long as their “products” continue to earn them a lot of money. But as soon as enough people get smart enough to “do their own thing”, get their own blog or find a better service to connect with their friends and family, then Facebook will have some tough decisions to make. It’s public now though, which means it’s owned by more that just one or a few people, so does that make it better or worse? Less likely to fold, or more likely? I don’t know. I just wish I could pay a few bucks a month for an ad-free, game-free version of Facebook. I’d sure feel more comfortable with that than I do with what they have now.