Facebook to shelve Beluga messenger in December

Facebook today announced plans to kill off its Beluga messaging service, which it acquired earlier this year. Users have two weeks to get their data off the site, with it going offline in December.

Beluga logo

Beginning next month, Facebook will take steps to close Beluga, the group messaging software it acquired this year and proceeded to replace within the span of a few months.

Starting November 11, users of the service will no longer be able to use the software to send messages to others, however they'll still be able to access them. The company is offering users a way to grab an archive of all their chats for posterity's sake, through that tool is not yet functional. On December 15 the service goes dark for good.

The shutdown news comes in conjunction with the fact that Facebook's Messenger app is now offered worldwide in 22 languages, on iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.

"Now that Facebook Messenger is available everywhere, we've decided to stop offering Beluga as a separate service. You can keep using Beluga for now, but we'll be phasing it out over the next few weeks," the company wrote on its site.

Facebook acquired Beluga in March , rolling out its own, nearly identical group chat application less than five months later using the same team that made Beluga. At the time of the acquisition, a Facebook representative told CNET that "nothing is going to change for Beluga right now" and that the two apps would remain separate.

Facebook has shelved a number of companies it's acquired over the years, including Drop.io, Divvyshot, and Hot Potato. Of note, Facebook continues to run FriendFeed, a startup it purchased near the end of 2009. FriendFeed co-founder Bret Taylor is currently Facebook's chief technology officer.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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