Social network Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has announced that it will be shutting down Parse, the mobile development tool that it acquired in 2013. Parse will begin winding down its service immediately, and Parse will be completely retired in approximately one year. Parse co-founder Kevin Lacker said that the company needs to focus its resources.
To help developers, Parse will release a database migration tool that allows them to bring their data elsewhere. Additionally, Parse will release an open-source Parse Server, which will allow developers to run the majority of the application programming interfaces that they may need in order to keep their apps running without interruption.
Does it matter?
Ultimately, the acquisition was always a little odd, since Facebook shifted its focus away from building a platform long ago. Many of the company's large-cap tech peers offer similar development tools. More important, rival offerings are more robust and mature, so instead of trying to play catch-up, Facebook is deciding to fail cheaply. Since other companies are the ones actually operating mobile platforms, they have much more of a vested interest in enabling developers as well.
Facebook paid out $67 million in stock for Parse, which was only two years old when it was acquired. Less than a year ago, Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar left the company, so it's unsurprising that Parse has languished without strong leadership. Overall, it was a cheap failure and an experimental risk, so it won't hurt too much. Besides, the rest of Facebook's business is crushing it.