11 THINGS AMAZON GOT RID OF WITHOUT YOU NOTICING
Amazon tries, fails, tries again, hides its failures from you very skillfully.
- •October 13, 2015 | Amazon DestinationsAmazon Destinations was essentially a place you could go to book short local trips. That was in April. Six months later, it just disappeared.
- •October 7, 2015 | Music ImporterAmazon offers one of the many music services that can scan your existing library and match it up in the cloud, but to do that, it launched a dedicated scanning app back in 2012. As of 2015, it wasn't exactly necessary anymore — Amazon now has a dedicated Prime Music app — and so its Music Importer app was shut down.
- •April 17, 2015 | Test DriveTest Drive let you run emulated Android apps right in the browser. It didn't work for every app — and not everything in the app would even work — but it was still a compelling idea, especially since most app stores don't even offer demos. Test Drive launched alongside Amazon's app store in 2011; it was shut down four years and one month later.
- •March 29, 2015 | UnboxAmazon's video service originally launched in 2006 under the terrible name Unbox, but by 2015, Unbox had simply become the app through which you could download and stream the many movies and TV shows sold by the Amazon Video store.
- •January 21, 2015 | Amazon WalletAmazon took a half step into mobile payments in mid-2014 and then pulled out half a year later.
- •October 13, 2014 | Amazon WebPayImagine Venmo, but on Amazon.com and no one you know used it.
- •October 25, 2013 | AskvilleImagine a quaint and casually gamified message board where people gather just to ask questions, like "How do I get my horse to stop cribbing?" and "Where is the Jedi Mind Tricks album cover for 'Violent by Design' from?" That's Askville. It lived from 2006 to 2013.
- •September 27, 2012 | EndlessBack in 2007, Amazon launched a fashion site called Endless that mostly sold shoes and accessories for women. It survived until 2012, when Amazon decided to fold Endless into its core site to better take on higher-end clothing sales.
- •November 18, 2012 | Special Occasion RemindersSeveral blog posts indicate that a small contingent of people were really into an old Amazon feature that let you set up reminders to be emailed to you down the road. Amazon killed the feature in 2012 and replaced it with, well, basically the same feature. It's now called Friends & Family Gifting, and it also encourages you to buy stuff on those special occasions.
- •December 2, 2010 | WikiLeaks' serversIt turns out that Amazon doesn't like it when you host classified documents on its servers. WikiLeaks had been using Amazon hosting while publishing documents leaked to it by Chelsea Manning, and eventually it got cut off.
- •March 13, 2009 | Alexa Site ThumbnailAmazon used to have a service that literally sold bulk screenshots of webpages for $0.0002 per thumbnail. It was supposed to be a way of offloading server work to Amazon when a website or search engine wanted to display information from a lot of external sites at once, which makes some sense, even if it sounds like something that would make for a bad website. Either way, the abstracted idea of buying bulk thumbnails is incredible.