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Parse is no more — Facebook shuts down its mobile developer platform

Not all that Facebook touches turns to gold. In a rare admission of defeat (if you can call it that), the social media giant has announced plans to shut down Parse, the mobile developer platform it acquired back in 2013 for a cool $85 million. In a blog post released Thursday, Kevin Lacker, Parse’s co-founder, wrote that the team would begin “winding down the Parse service” immediately, and that “Parse will be fully retired after a year-long period ending on January 28, 2017.” He continued, “We’re proud that we’ve been able to help so many of you build great mobile apps, but we need to focus our resources elsewhere.”

The decision is a surprising one, especially given Facebook’s purported move just ten months ago to expand Parse with hopes of helping developers build apps for the Internet of Things. At the time, it seemed like a continuation of Facebook’s quest for worldwide dominance, but now, plans appear to have shifted.

Facebook, which has posted impressive numbers both in terms of user growth and ad-based revenue, seems to have locked down its area of expertise, and it looks as though Parse simply didn’t contribute to the overall growth of Mark Zuckerberg’s empire. After all, mobile developers aren’t a demographic the social network needs to be targeting. Even so, Parse now promises to make the transition process for engineers as smooth as possible. “We are committed to maintaining the backend service during the sunset period, and are providing several tools to help migrate applications to other services,” Lacker noted.

Listing a number of focus areas for Facebook moving forward, Facebook spokesman Michael Kirkland said in a statement, “Moving forward we want to dedicate more resources to high-impact products and services in areas like analytics, monetization, discovery, and authentication.” And Parse just doesn’t fit into that anymore.

“We enjoyed working with each of you, and we have deep admiration for the things you’ve built,” Lacker concluded as he bid adieu. “Thank you for using Parse.”