New Applications and Digital Experiences

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New Applications and Digital Experiences

Five mobile apps that failed after launch are Google Wave, Color Labs, Rdio, Shyp, and Vine.

Google Wave

  • Google Wave was a communication app designed to replace group emails put out by Google in 2009.
  • At first, Google Wave was only released to a small group of developers. Then, there was a larger roll out and finally in May 2010 it was released to the general public. It was then declared failed and shut down within three months (in August 2010).
  • Experts state that Google Wave failed because it did not live up to (impossibly high) expectations, people did not understand what problem the app was supposed to solve or what it was supposed to do, and the app was too hard to use.

Color Labs

  • Color Labs was a photo-sharing app that launched in March 2011. The app was unique in that it was geared towards sharing photos with those in the same location as the user.
  • Prior to launch, Color Labs raised $41 million from investors.
  • The app failed due to lack of user base, which, for an app based on sharing photos with people in the same physical location that also used the app, was integral to the functionality of the app. There were also privacy concerns.
  • In October 2012, the app was shut down by shareholders and board members. At the time of shut down, the app had 440,000 monthly active users. Prior to the shutdown, the company tried rebranding the app as a video-sharing app and tried partnering with Facebook and Verizon.


  • Rdio launched in 2010 as one of the first music streaming services in the US.
  • In 2013, after it couldn't compete with Spotify, Rdio laid off one third of its workers and eventually, in 2015, sold its assets to Pandora for $75 million and declared bankruptcy.
  • The company failed due to their small user base and lack of marketing efforts.


  • Shyp was an app that would assist in packaging and shipping items.
  • The company secured $63 million in funding before the app launched. The company launched in 2013.
  • The company expanded to from San Francisco to Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Prior to shut down, they scaled back to just San Francisco, but ultimately the company shut down in 2018, laying off hundreds of workers.
  • The company failed due to their flat pricing structure and rushed expansion. The cost of operations was very high with a limited profit.


  • Vine was a video-sharing app that allowed users to create and share six second video clips.
  • The company behind Vine was created in June 2012 and was acquired by Twitter in October 2012 for $30 million. The official Apple app was launched January 24th 2013, and the Android version was launched June 2, 2013. Vine shut down January 17th, 2017.
  • While Vine was very popular for a time, and even became the "most popular and most utilized video-sharing application in the online marketplace" for a time, the company did not respond to market changes and competitors fast enough, and eventually became obsolete.