It's becoming quite a trend with Google. Buy up an interesting company or service, sit on it for a little while… and then shut it down. The latest victims of Google's seemingly never-ending cull are Flock and Bump. Bump was only acquired back in September, but it is already on the kill list. At the time of the acquisition, there was debate about whether the service might be rebranded, but as of the end of January it will be no more.
Bump was, in its day, quite an innovative tool, seen by many as the precursor to NFC. It enabled files to be quickly transferred between devices by bumping them together. Flock was a similar tool, but concerned solely with photo sharing. However as of 31 January, both apps will disappear from view, as announced in a blog post by CEO and co-founder of Bump, David Lieb:
Back in September, we announced that the Bump team was joining Google to continue our work of helping people share and interact with one another using mobile devices.
We are now deeply focused on our new projects within Google, and we've decided to discontinue Bump and Flock. On January 31, 2014, Bump and Flock will be removed from the App Store and Google Play. After this date, neither app will work, and all user data will be deleted.
If you have data stored in either app, don’t panic. As Lieb explains in his blog post, you'll be able to grab a copy of it:
We've taken much care to make sure that you can retain any data you have in Bump and Flock. At any point in the next 30 days, simply open either app and and follow the instructions for exporting your data. You’ll then receive an email with a link containing all of your data (photos, videos, contacts, etc) from Bump or Flock.
It is possible that we have not completely seen the end of Bump and Flock yet; they could still re-emerge in a new guise. Lieb makes reference to Bump's "new creations at Google", so there could well be another announcement in the pipeline.