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Here’s a short history of Facebook flops

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19.06.2019

Yesterday was Facebook’s big blockchain day. It finally went public with its plans to upend the global payments industry by introducing a new program called Libra, which would be both its own digital currency and a financial platform. Users will supposedly be able to pay for things with Libra, store the coin in their own digital wallets, and transfer money to anyone else—wherever they are. It’s certainly an ambitious plan.

But Facebook has many hurdles to overcome. For one, there’s the adoption element; the company needs to convince people to, well, actually use Libra. It also needs real industry support. Yes, some names like Mastercard and Paypal have signed on as “founding members,” but no bank has tied its name to Libra nor has any other big tech platform like Apple and Amazon. Libra has the distinct possibility of failing before it catches on.

Which is why it may be helpful to look at recent history to contextualize this latest launch. Many think of Facebook as some sort of unstoppable force—the sometimes nefarious platform used by nearly everyone in the world. True, Facebook is quite ubiquitous, with over 2.38 billion monthly users worldwide, but that doesn’t mean everything it’s launched has stuck. The company has had many flops during its digital tenure. Here are a few of its biggest failures:

In 2012, Facebook launched the “Poke” app as an attempt to mimic Snapchat. Historically, Facebook’s strategic........

© Fast Company