After seven years and more than fifty million installs globally, the app discovery service AppGratis announced it’s shutting down today. Founded in 2010 by French engineer Simon Dawlat, AppGratis curators found and recommended apps that were featured to download for free or at a significantly reduced price.
As some of you will recall, Apple in a controversial move nuked the app from orbit back in April 2013 over a violation of App Store rules regarding third-party app promotion and marketing. After it was dumped from App Store, AppGratis launched an Android version of the app.
The discontinuation of the service has nothing to do with Apple, however, or its broader crackdown on apps which might be similar to or confusing with App Store.
According to the blog post, the team has simply come to the terms with the realities of running a startup. They discovered that startups are hard and take a big chunk of one’s life, with no guarantees of success.
Here’s an excerpt from the post:
AppGratis lived, AppGratis died. It was an OK product with a strong first-mover’s advantage in a time of novelty. Some people liked it, some didn’t, but that doesn’t matter anymore. The world evolved and so have we. We had ups and downs, we were a passionate bunch, we had fun and we were very, very lucky—until we weren’t so lucky anymore, but we didn’t quit.
I would say that AppGratis has actually realized that the popularity of their service has slowly but surely diminished over the years due to the spectacular rise of the freemium software distribution model and other app promotion services and websites.
The AppGratis team says they ultimately made it through to a new project that’s now reportedly “taking off nicely.” Going forward, the team will be pouring all their collective energies into this unknown new project.
Are you saddened that AppGratis was shut down and discontinued?