The Products and Brands We've Lost This Year
We've lost a number of iconic products and companies in 2017.
We've said goodbye to a number of well-known products and brands this year. At the end of 2016, Twitter announced it was shutting down its video service Vine -- devastating thousands of users. YouTube personality and filmmaker Casey Neistat closed the gates of his social video app Beme too when he sold it to CNN in the fall of 2016.
From the iPod Nano to Coke Zero, the list of now-lost products and brands goes on. Take a stroll down memory lane and check out these companies and products that have made their departure this year.
Windows PhoneMicrosoft has finally decided to pull the plug on its Windows Phone platform. In a Tweet on Oct. 8, Microsoft VP of Operating Systems Group Joe Belfiore said that the company will no longer add features or build hardware for their mobile platform. However, users who already own a device will still be able to receive updates and bug fixes.
Of course we'll continue to support the platform.. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren't the focus. ? https://t.co/0CH9TZdIFu— Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) October 8, 2017
Bad news, '90s kids: it’s time to say goodbye to a childhood relic. AOL parent company Oath announced that it was officially shutting down AIM this upcoming December. Having launched in 1997, AIM helped change the way people communicate, quickly becoming one of the most popular instant messaging apps in the U.S. -- especially among teens and tweens. (Hey -- who doesn’t remember their first AIM screen name?)
However, with the rise of other platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp, it was hard for AIM to keep up. “From setting the perfect away message to that familiar ring of an incoming chat, AIM will always have a special place in our hearts,” AOL wrote in an email.
Apple iPod Nano and Shuffle
After 15 years, Apple has decided to discontinue the iPod Nano and Shuffle, leaving only the Touch left in the iPod family. "We are simplifying our iPod lineup," the company told Bloomberg in a statement.
These two items were of the least expensive among the iPod lineup -- the Shuffle cost only $49 and the Nano $149.
In July, Coca-Cola announced that it would be killing off the beloved Coke Zero. Having come to the market in 2005 as a Diet Coke alternative, the drink also boasted itself as a sugar- and calorie-free product that looked and tasted more like classic Coca-Cola, while Diet Coke has a completely different blend of flavors.
The company will replace the product with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. "We've made the great taste of Coke Zero even better by optimizing the unique blend of flavors that gave Coke Zero its real Coca-Cola taste," the company announced in a statement.
Pepe the frog
Adios, Pepe. Cartoonist and Pepe the frog creator Matt Furie has officially killed one of the world's most popular memes, which saw a boost in its infamy as a white supremacist symbol during the U.S. election.
In Celebration of Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 6, Furie published a one-page piece of his "Boys' Club" series -- where Pepe ultimately got its start in 2005 -- that shows Pepe in a casket surrounded by mourning friends.
Last year, when an alt-right version of Pepe the frog went viral, Furie said Pepe's political association was just a "phase." However, after the Anti-Defamation League labeled Pepe as an anti-Semitic hate symbol, Furie made efforts to clean up Pepe's image, even launching a campaign #SavePepe to encourage people to create positive Pepe memes.
Unfortunately, Furie's efforts weren't enough and the cartoon has continued to be an alt-right meme (most recently it was "Pepe Le Pen"), so Furie has decided to bow out. Although, you'll likely see Pepe on the internet, its creator is no longer behind it.
In late April, Yik Yak, the mobile chat app that let people post anonymously -- mostly for catty gossip in schools and social circles -- announced its plans to close up shop. At one point being valued at $400 million, the app began to lose traction among young users when other apps such as Snapchat began to emerge.
"We were so lucky to have the most passionate users on the planet. It's you who made this journey possible," Yik Yak's young founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington wrote in a blog post. "The time has come, however, for our paths to part ways, as we've decided to make our next moves as a company."
Although no date is set, the app will officially close down at the end of the school year.
So.cl, Microsoft’s social network
Whether you knew it existed or not, Microsoft will shut down its social network, So.cl, on March 15. The platform, which launched in May 2012, was a content-sharing website primarily used by students and young people.
Microsoft's Fuse Labs, which spearheaded the project, wrote in a blog post: "In supporting you, Socl's unique community of creators, we have learned invaluable lessons in what it takes to establish and maintain community as well as introduce novel new ways to make, share and collect digital stuff we love."
YouTube personality, filmmaker and entrepreneur Casey Neistat closed a deal with CNN late last year, selling his video app Beme. Following the acquisition, Beme officially shut down on Jan. 31. What made Beme different than other social video apps was its ability to record short clips simply by putting your phone to your chest.
With Neistat's name attached to the app, it picked up some traction, although it was short-lived, having only launched in July 2015. And with competitors such as Snapchat and Instagram, the industry was a little too tough to crack.
People were devastated when Twitter announced it was pulling the plug on its 6-second-looping video app Vine. The company announced the news in Oct. 2016, but it wasn't until Jan. 17 that the app was officially taken down.
Initially launched in 2012, Vine had a good run. In fact, it even birthed some pretty hilarious Vine stars -- who today have found themselves distraught over the loss. The website is still up -- although just for archival purposes.
Jawbone, once a leader in fitness trackers and Bluetooth speakers, is closing up shop this year and liquidating its assets. Having once been valued at $3 billion by private market investors, the company has since struggled to keep up. In fact, late last year, it reportedly stopped sellings its fitness trackers and instead sold them to third-party retailers.
However, this isn't a final goodbye -- Jawbone CEO and founder Hosain Rahman has launched a new medical software and hardware company called Jawbone Health Hub.