02
Aug
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It was just six weeks ago that we featured Rockmelt, an Android app with a bit of an identity crisis. It didn't know whether it wanted to be an RSS reader or a browser (but it did know it wanted to look like Pinterest). Well, the eponymous company that makes Rockmelt is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Yahoo. And they've killed the Android app deader than a dove at an NRA convention.

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Rockmelt announced via its company blog that the Internet discovery service would be shutting down on August 31st as Yahoo integrates it into the larger corporation. But for whatever reason, they decided to kill off the Android app immediately, barely a month after it crossed over from iOS. (In case you're wondering, the iOS app is gone as well.) According to the still-active Appbrain page, the Android version had been downloaded more than 50,000 times - not bad at all.

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Maybe those 50,000 users can give misery a little company with Astrid fans (like me). In a similar move, Yahoo acquired the task/to-do app and service Astrid... and announced plans to shut that sucker down just a month later. At least Astrid got a farewell tour: it's not scheduled to go offline for another three days. Yahoo hasn't said exaclty how they plan to use either property, but it's safe to say that elements of the apps and services will show up again somewhere in Yahoo's wide wheelhouse.

Source: Yahoo, Rockmelt

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://platypus.blox.pl/ najodleglejszy

    hey Yahoo!, why don't you buy yourself and then shut yourself down?

    • TylerChappell

      The world would be a better place without Yahoo.

    • r4v5

      Let's ask Jeeves his opinion of that.

    • Vardan Nazaretyan

      Good question.

  • Ravengenocide

    Once again Yahoo buys a company and then kills it directly after. Why must they always buy things that works they way they are?

  • ProductFRED

    Not that I hate Yahoo, but it's not even like they're doing anything with the companies and products they're buying out... They seem to be either shutting them down (thus ruining everything for users) or sitting on them...

    • Juvenall

      A lot of these "buy something cool, then shut it down" things are known as "acqui-hiring" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acqui-hiring). In short, they're paying for the team behind them, not the IP or the product itself. This sort of thing is actually, and sadly, a common business model behind a lot of startups (although not always explicitly stated).

      The danger Yahoo is facing right now, in my opinion, is that if they do intend to either relaunch/rebrand these products or push their own, they're going to need to act fast before someone fills the void these closures are leaving behind and they've lost the market edge. Combine a lack of faith in them as custodians of web services after their half decade or more Flickr abandonment and people will have little faith in the longevity of anything they launch.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Have to admit, I almost died right there alongside the Rockmelt app when I read the title.

  • MrHaroHaro

    I really want to see Yahoo make something of these acquisitions. I really admire and respect Marissa Mayer, but some of these buys are "WTF". I really hope they do well. [I've liked some of the changes made under her watch, namely the Yahoo Mail app on Android is nice and Flickr is awesome now. So I'm cautiously optimistic.]

  • dobbsy

    Fuck, do I hate Yahoo! Horrible, horrible company.

  • Brandon Watkins

    Time to uninstall this app!

    • jOn Garrett

      but after you share the apk

  • Matthew Fry

    Yahoo is the new Apple

    • Rauel Crespo

      Yahoo is the At&t of people....

  • sivkai

    Can someone fill me in why Yahoo still exists? Surely if all it is capable of is buying mediocre start ups and shutting it down, it's going to run into financial ruin? How does Yahoo fund all its buys??

    • Daniel McDermott

      They sold the majority of their shares in Ali Baba, so the company now has huge cash flow to buy pretty much anything they want. Problem is, they might be like a 40 year homeless man who wins the lottery and spends it all in a year and goes back to living on the streets again if they don't come up with something big.

  • Ruben

    Anyone who has an .APK?

  • Ray

    Rockmelt app and account = deleted!

  • Josh C

    Wait..wasn't the rockmelt browser based on chromium? Anyone else find that a little ironic?

  • Legobricke

    This is just upsetting.... Was really liking Rockmelt.... Trying to find something that similar... Flipboard is ok... But was liking this better...

    • Izwan Rahman

      after using rockmelt I uninstall all my reader coz its the one reader that fits all. now I have to find another reader. not one I found can replace rockmelt in its simplicity and user friendliness. I really like it, still clinging on it while I try other alternative,

      please suggest me if you found one.

  • Lou

    What if Yahoo is doing all of this as a means to introduce their own market aside from the Android Market/Apple App Store where they will re-release these apps as "Yahoo App Market exclusive"? It seems possible, however this operation will likely be dead on arrival since no one will either want to support Yahoo or no one will care considering the alternatives that exist out there.

    Yahoo is becoming highly irrelevant in this world anymore, I would not be surprised if they shut their doors for good in 2015-16.

  • Grumphus

    If you are a very good developer or have an amazing team, would you work for a dinosaur company like Yahoo!? Would anybody work for Yahoo?! Exactly.

    That is why Yahoo! has no choice but to buy out small groups to acquire developers. Given Yahoo's image as a dinosaur, they can't just hire good developers if they hope to innovate, they have to show them the money. Rockmelt sold itself knowing that its services will shut down.