We hope you weren't using Meta's experimental Tuned app to keep your relationship fires burning. Gizmodo reports Meta is shutting down Tuned on September 19th, and that sign-up attempts for the couple-oriented app now produce errors. The company wasn't shy about its reasons for the move. In a statement to Engadget, a spokesperson said Meta's New Product Experimentation team winds down apps if they "aren’t sticking."
Meta's (then Facebook's) NPE Team launched Tuned in April 2020 to give partners a "private space" where they could share feelings, love notes, challenges and music streams. The timing was apt (if unintentional) given the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In theory, this helped distant couples cement their bonds when they couldn't connect in person.
It's not certain how many people used the app, though. While Meta brought the initially iOS-only software to Android and said there were "many couples" who used Tuned to get closer, there's little doubt Tuned remained a niche product compared to the likes of Facebook or Instagram. There's a good chance you're hearing about this app for the first time, after all. We'd add that there wasn't much point when you could text, video chat or otherwise use existing services to accomplish many of the same goals.
You might have seen this coming. Meta has routinely shut down experimental apps, and has even axed higher-profile apps when they didn't gain traction. These closures help the company save resources and focus on more popular platforms. As it stands, Tuned was increasingly an outlier for a tech giant shifting its attention from social networking to the metaverse.