Facebook has done the unthinkable by shutting down Creative Labs, its internal initiative and experimental system wherein several standalone apps can be built.

A spokesperson at Facebook also confirmed that Slingshot, Rooms and Riff, which are apps created through the lab, were also removed from the app store.

However, this doesn't mean Facebook is done creating standalone apps. It will, but won't place them under the Creative Labs branding anymore. Now we know why the company's latest app, Notify, was not placed under the Creative Labs umbrella.

The removed apps should not be missed by much, since the most useful elements have been added to the Facebook app for Android and iOS.

"Since their launches, we've incorporated elements of Slingshot, Riff and Rooms into the Facebook for iOS and Android apps," says a Facebook spokesperson.

The untimely death of Creative Labs shouldn't come as much of a surprise because for two years that it has been around, the team has created only 10 apps, and none turned out to be a major hit. Still, Slingshot was an interesting app that allowed users to take photos or videos, send them to friends, and those friends would then respond with a photo or video, too.

The Creative Labs system also gave employees an idea of what a startup could be like without the risks, so just look at it as a business that went belly-up in the heat of the moment.

Facebook will still oversee the creation of experimental apps, but has not released any information if a new brand will be formed in the near future.

Photo: Bhupinder Nayyar | Flickr

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