Meta’s private messaging app for couples is shutting down

Another one of Meta’s social experiments is shutting down. It’s called Tuned, and if you’re like me, this is probably the first and last time you’ll ever hear of it (via TechCrunch).

Tuned launched in 2020, back when Meta was still Facebook, as an app designed for couples looking to connect even when they’re apart. The app comes from Meta’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, which develops experimental apps and services. Through Tuned, couples can privately share their thoughts and moods as well as send notes to one another. There are also games that couples can play to get to know each other better, in addition to Spotify integration for exchanging music.

as noted by TechCrunch, Meta has started notifying Tuned users that the app is shutting down on September 19th. That’s also the cutoff date for when users can download their data. Tuned doesn’t provide a reason as to why it’s getting discontinued, and its app pages on both Google Play and the App Store don’t offer any other details.

“In the spirit of experimentation and similarly to previous apps, we try a lot of things, learn, and if our tests aren’t sticking, shut it down,” Jessyka Faison, an NPE spokesperson, said in an emailed statement to The Verge.

Judging by its reviews and ratings, Tuned seemed to be pretty well-received among couples. According to Sensor Tower data viewed by TechCrunchTuned has been downloaded about 900,000 times on Android and iOS.

It’s possible that Tuned’s shutdown is related to the time it was released: just as pandemic lockdowns started ramping up. Now that movement restrictions have been lifted in most of the world, perhaps fewer couples feel the need to use the app.

But then again, Meta’s NPE group doesn’t have the best track record for creating products that stick. Earlier this year, it shuttered its video speed dating app, Sparked. There was also the short-lived video-sharing app, Lasso as well as the Pinterest-like Hobbi. The list just goes on with Aux, Hotline, Whale, and others landing in the NPE graveyard.

Update July 26th at 11:29AM ET: Updated to add a statement from an NPE spokesperson.

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