Google may have spilled the beans about the next service shutdown

Google may have spilled the beans about the next service shutdown

Google is notorious for ruthlessly killing services it no longer deems successful or viable. The company just this winter shut down Stadia, a high-profile game streaming platform it had announced with much fanfare a few years earlier. It looks like Google has prematurely spilled the beans on yet another shutdown, though that might not ring a bell for you. Banner appeared in the Grasshopper app, a Duolingo-like service created by the company’s Area 120 team to help you learn to code.


As one of our tipsters spotted, a new banner ad has appeared at the top of Grasshopper’s home screen that reads: “Grasshopper is shutting down on June 15, 2023.” While the wording is as straightforward as it gets, the rest of the story is not so straightforward. When you tap the “Learn More” button, you’ll be taken to a forum post from the Googler’s profile with the subject “Quick Test, Please Ignore”. It then continues with “Test entry, must be unlisted”. This post was published fourteen days ago, on February 24th. Given the linking, it’s very likely that it was intended as a placeholder for the outage announcement, although it doesn’t appear to have been updated to provide additional information.

We were unable to reproduce the banner ad in the app or on the website, so it may have been accidentally made available to a limited number of users.

Grasshopper was announced in 2018 and was initially only available on Android and iOS. The company brought it online only later, in 2019. The service allows users to learn JavaScript through playful lessons reminiscent of language learning apps like Duolingo. The app encourages you to come back every day to build a streak.

In its 2019 desktop launch announcement, Google said the app has reached more than two million people since its initial launch on mobile. It is mostly aimed at adults interested in learning basic programming skills, potentially helping them explore new career paths.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Google abandoned the service, as Grasshopper was launched within the company’s Area 120, an in-house incubator for startup-like ideas. The division saw major cuts in 2022 as Google killed half of its projects in response to slowing economic growth.

We reached out to Google for confirmation.

Thanks Anthony

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