It’s never easy to be the bearer of bad news. Luckily, there’s plenty of good news along with it.
First: Brizzly is shutting down at the end of this month
I know this stands in stark contrast to the last post I wrote, wherein I said that “kill Brizzly” wasn’t on our “to do” list heading into our new roles at AOL. That statement still holds true, though. We didn’t plan to get rid of the service we spent the prior year or so building, but we knew there was a possibility it might not make sense to continue work on it. Sure enough, once we set to the task at hand—improving the hell out of AIM—we had little to no time to work on Brizzly, and it became clear that the new things we’re working on are far more worth our time and attention.
From the beginning, Brizzly was an experiment. We said, “Hey, what if there was a better way to view content from Twitter?” So we built the first version of Brizzly, adding link expansion, infinite scrolling, inline photo and video display, and many of the features that you Brizzly users know and love. Then we thought, “Hey, what if we did the same thing for Facebook?” Well, we tried that, anyway. Then Jason wanted to build on Twitter’s trending topics by adding user-submitted and -edited explanations, links and photos to the things people were talking about—a sort of “Wikipedia for right now.” Then we built Brizzly Picnics as a way to communicate amongst ourselves more easily, which we quickly decided was worth sharing with the world.
We had many more ideas of what Brizzly could be or do, but this experiment has run its course. The good news here, though, is that those ideas haven’t been locked away.
Last month, we released the next generation of AIM. While it doesn’t do the core thing Brizzly does (show you all of the tweets from people you follow), it does have vastly improved group chat with media expansion—a lot like Brizzly Picnics. It also tells you when people have mentioned, liked, followed, or commented on your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram content, or when you have new Gmail or AOL Mail messages.
We’re very fortunate to have had you as a fan and user, and we’re even more fortunate to be working on software that will incorporate many ideas we’ve had for how to solve existing communication problems.
We truly, gratefully appreciate all of the people who checked out Brizzly, and especially those of you who’ve grown attached to it and evangelized on our behalf. We built Brizzly for you, and we built the new and better AIM for you, too.
Our best advice from here on out is to find yourself a nice new Twitter client (Twitter itself has done some nice things), follow @aim on Twitter or like the AIM Facebook page, and wear your seat belt.