Fluent, The Sparrow-Like Webmail Service, Shuts Down

Fluent screenshot

Remember Fluent? It was a webmail service which made your Gmail look like now-defunct iOS and Mac app Sparrow.

Now, like Sparrow (and the similar-looking Tweetie before it), Fluent is dead.

Fluent.io, to give it its full kennel name, not only made your Gmail look a whole lot slicker but also turned it into a useful place to keep track of tasks. It featured instant search, easy discussions and support for multiple accounts. And now it has gone. Or will be when it shuts down at 5PM (Sydney time) on Friday August 17th.

Why? According to the Fluent team’s blog post, “There are many things that cause startups to rise and fall: fund raising, runways, scaling and other promising opportunities; they all played their part.”

And it wasn’t for lack of interest. In addition to the regular users who made it into the beta, 70,000 others were waiting, having signed up to be on the list (I was among them).

The problem appears to be free email, in that nobody wants to pay for either the service or the client. That’s why Sparrow sold to Google, and seems to be why Fluent is shutting down. Perhaps the only company still making money from e-mail these days is Google, and that’s because of the ads.

  • RobertBIrish

    Defunct? Sparrow received an update this morning, how can an app be defunct if it is still receiving updates?

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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