Formspring, a once-buzzy site that counted more than 28 million users for its ask-me-a-question service, was the Snapchat of its day—an Internet service popular with teens and misunderstood by adults, and well-funded by eager venture capitalists.
Now, four years and $14 million later, CEO Ade Olonoh announced that the company is shuttering its doors at the end of March, writing that Formspring wasn’t able to “sustain the resources” to keep going.
Formspring had an incredibly rapid rise, hitting a million users in its first 45 days and growing to 32 employees. It faced a wave of controversy as teens exploited the anonymity of its question-asking service to bully others.
But it never established a clear method of making money, and traffic hit a plateau last summer.
It’s the rare obvious, public failure of a once-buzzy consumer-Web startup. Most die far more quietly—and many will meet Formspring’s fate as they fail to raise more venture-capital financing.
Here’s a video of Olonoh talking about Formspring in early 2012:
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