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Google is shutting down Spaces, its experimental group messaging app

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Can you mourn a thing you’ve never heard of?

Google Spaces

Google catches a lot of flak for having too many messaging apps, but there’s another messaging-style app that you almost surely forgot about. It is called Spaces and it’s shutting down on April 17th. Google’s traditional Spring cleaning is starting early — and with it maybe the company is showing it can be a little more focused on its messaging strategy.

Spaces was an attempt to help small groups of people organize conversations around specific topics. It wasn’t so much a texting app as a small group forum app. You could set a topic, invite friends or coworkers, and then discuss. The key feature was its ability to automatically pull in Google searches, images, YouTube videos, and so on.

In a post on Google+ (which is surely due for its own Spring cleaning someday), Google product manager John Kilcline says that “we've decided to take what we learned with Spaces, and apply it to our existing products.” Presumably one of those products is Allo, which already integrates the Google Assistant for pulling information directly into a conversation.

Space was kind of a knock off of a Facebook experimental app, Rooms. It shut down back in December, 2015. So maybe mobile, topic-based discussion apps are not a thing people really want? Anyway, Spaces will go into a “read-only mode” in the “coming weeks” and will shut down fully on April 17th. Bye Spaces.