Anybeat, a social network that launched last year as a kind of “anti-Facebook” to meet people you don’t already know, is getting bought by another company and is shutting down. The company posted a message to its users a few hours ago noting that it would be closing up operations in two weeks.
The service, which launched as a beta in September 2011 (we offered invites here), was founded by Dmitry Shapiro, who had also founded Veoh and at one point had been the CTO of Myspace. It’s been reported that he is moving to Google to head up Google+ .
Anybeat has posted news of the shutdown on its own page in Anybeat.
In the note, Anybeat says that it is getting purchased by another company — it doesn’t say who — and that new owner will be “repurposing it to address a different type of community, and will not be operating Anybeat as is.” It has also offered a link to a Google Group that will let users stay in touch.
It’s not clear how many users Anybeat picked up in its short life, but if you consider that Facebook now has 901 million active subscribers, that’s a pretty high bar to hit for any social network to consider itself as having reached a critical mass.
Anybeat’s unique selling point was its option of anonymity — once something that seemed part and parcel of online personalities, but more recently — not least because of Facebook — replaced by full-on real name usage as the norm for many people. It’s unclear whether any of what Anybeat was doing will be carried over into whatever comes next.
Shapiro has another project on the boil — Uberpaper — a social news-aggregating service that had a similar layout to Anybeat with blocks of text in a scrolled layout (they were created by the same developers, it seems). For now that service appears to still be going.
We are contacting Google and Dmitry to ask about the reports of his career move to Google+, and to ask for more details about who has bought the company — although as of yesterday Shapiro was noting that this information has yet to be disclosed.
If reports of Shapiro’s move are true, could it be Google itself? Is that why the company is suggesting a Google Group to carry on relationships post-Anybeat? It would seem very ironic given that the note below says “I don’t do Google.” In the meantime, here is the note that Anybeat has posted to users: