When Snaptu launched its revamped facebook application a year back, little was known that this is going to be the beginning of the end of one of the all-time favorite J2ME application.
The success of Snaptu lies in the fact that there was no good RSS reader or a twitter app for the s40 series of Nokia (which then covered almost 95% of mobile phone market) as well as other feature phones. Snaptu, powered by the superior interface quickly got into the gap.
It all began with their January 19 announcement, that they will launch a Facebook application for the feature phones in partnership with Facebook itself. Then it was called “Facebook by Snaptu“. Still things were seemed to be well and good.
When rumors about Facebook’s acquisition of Snaptu began in the late February, Snaptu replied by launching a LinkedIn application in partnership with LinkedIn. The voices were over and things became normal once again.
But that doesn’t last long. 5 days later came this blog post from Snaptu, when no one expected.
The Snaptu team is excited to announce today that we recently agreed to be acquired by Facebook.
Right in the blog post, snaptu indicated that the app is counting down its last days.
The acquisition is expected to close within a few weeks. We’ll have more updates on Snaptu soon, and we’ll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone. During this transition period, we expect Snaptu will continue to operate as it does today.
But facebook as they do as always, maintained that Snaptu as a product will not be affected by the acquisition. Yes, it was not affected until September. In September both Snaptu and Facebook by Snaptu is removed from distribution from its own servers to give way for “Facebook for every phone“. It was then removed from app stores like GerJar and OVI store, a few weeks later.
The jar file, however was still available in the net and it did work. But with a banner reading “Upgrade to the new Facebook app!” linking to the “Facebook for every phone” application. A few apps were missing but the rest such as Twitter, Facebook, Cricinfo, TechCrunch and Masable! worked (and is still working) well.
This morning (1 Nov 2011), another banner below the previous one was seen on the app reading “Apps ending on 11/11/11”. This was the news item pointed:
On 11/11/11 we’ll end most of our apps, including Twitter, Cricinfo, LinkedIn. These apps will no longer be available. Snaptu is now a part of Facebook, and we strongly encourage you to upgrade to our latest Facebook app.
This is not new for Facebook. They have already done it with Divvyshot, Hot Potato and most recently Beluga.
For those who used snaptu as just an RSS reader, the same app along with Weather Forecast (powered by AccuWeather) and MyMovies are available on the “Facebook for every phone” itself. Yet the loss of Snaptu is great one who used them for Twitter and Cricinfo.
A few links: