Meta is shutting down another project from its internal R&D group, the NPE team, following the company’s major layoffs announced in November, which affected 13% of its workforce. The latest experiment to be canceled is the social to-do list app called Move, launched last spring, which allowed users to earn points for completing tasks on their personal or group to-do lists. These points, in turn, could be used to accessorize an alpaca avatar with accessories such as hats, clothing, sunglasses, and more.
The larger idea of Move had been to encourage group participation, as avatar customization allowed users to see which members were the most productive, based on the number of accessories the user had earned for their alpaca. However, despite the light-hearted nature of the app and its potential to gamify to-do lists, the company quietly announced that the app will be shutting down in March.
In an iOS app update posted on Sunday, Move informed its users that the app would be shutting down and would no longer be available after March 2, 2023. As part of this process, new user registrations are now disabled and Existing users can log in to download their data before the final closing of the application.
The closure notice is the latest in a series of closures by Meta’s internal incubator, NPE Team.
First released in mid-2019, the group’s original focus had been to build consumer-facing apps that allowed Meta to test new social features and measure their impact. But the incubator has yet to produce a product successful enough to remain an independent brand. Instead, over the years, Meta’s NPE team launched and then shut down a series of social experiments, ranging from dating apps to calling apps, meme creators, TikTok, Twitter and Clubhouse competitors, and many more. more.
Most recently, it announced its plan to shut down Super, a Cameo-like app aimed at the creator community. That service is set to shut down in February 2023. Last year, he also removed a video speed dating service called Sparked and Tuned, a dating app that had just over 900,000 downloads at the time of its shutdown.
While many of the experiments may have generated data and insights that helped inform other developments at Meta, the initiative seemed incapable of producing major successes on its own. As a result, the NPE team began to shift priorities last year to focus its efforts more globally and make initial investments in other businesses. It established offices in emerging markets, such as Lagos, Nigeria, and supported startups, such as AI development platform Inworld AI, for example.
With the changes, there are now few active apps developed by the NPE team left in the app stores.
On Google Play, a couple of NPE Team app URLs are still directly accessible, including a live sports podcast app, Venue, and a friend finder called Bump, but they’re not available via search and They have not been updated since 2021 and 2019. , respectively. Only Move and a music app called BARS remain on the App Store. However, it is unclear how much time BARS has left, as it has not been updated since June 30, 2022.
Throughout the tech industry, experimental projects inside larger companies have been hit by widespread layoffs. At Google, for example, most of the projects within its own internal incubator, Area 120, were winding down, the company said earlier this month. Only three projects will move to other parts of Google this year, TechCrunch reported. We understand that the NPE team was also affected by the Meta layoffs, but the company has yet to share a statement on its future plans for this organization, specifically.
Meta was asked to comment on the closure of Move; we will update if one is provided. However, the app closure notice can be read directly in the App Store.