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RIPeach: Facebook killed the app I loved, and now I’m finally free

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I’m finally saying goodbye to Peach.

And if you’ve never heard of Peach, I’m not surprised. The app launched in January and was heralded by some as the next big social platform. Yes, you guessed it — I absolutely boarded the Peach hype train.

Peach, like Snapchat, does one thing perfectly — discovery. The app offers an entire list of keywords to use when posting, whether it be “book” to share what you’re reading or “events” to pass along your calendar for the day. The best part is, there’s no guide or tutorial. You have to figure it out on your own.

With keywords came Peach Ball, a game you can play right in the app. Type in the keyword “play” and you’re given a basketball emoji with an oddly shaped basket. Peach Ball is the crown jewel of Peach. You bounce the ball off the edges of your phone’s screen, score points and share the high score with your friends.

Peach Ball is exactly the new, fresh idea that makes an up-and-coming social app worth downloading. When people asked me ‘Why Peach?’ that game was my defense. Unlike everything else on the app, it was an “Easter egg” nobody else had. Plus, it’s addicting.

I wanted Peach to be the Ello of its time, offering a new space for ironic gifs and logging daily thoughts. Peach could have even transcended Ello’s brief popularity and gained permanence as the micro-blogging app for your phone. There’s enough to keep you interested in the possibilities but very little to stay long. If anything, it just needed a few more original ideas.

One day, I hoped, Peach would improve itself enough to finally get the users it deserves.

Instead of waiting for that day, after I write this, I am going to delete my Peach account.

Facebook Messenger now has its own “Easter egg.” An update released last week that lets you “shoot some hoops” with your friends by sending a basketball emoji. It’ll even automatically share your high score.

This may sound familiar. That’s because it sounds like Peach Ball. The best part of the app is now on Facebook Messenger with some modifications — there’s no more bouncing, but it undoubtedly has a better hoop design.

They took Peach Ball.

In its quest to become “the Internet,” Facebook has started to look a lot like some of the social networks released in the past few years. It’s like that cool friend in school who overhears your funny joke in first period and goes and tells it to the entire gym class that afternoon, ​leaving you with nothing.

Messenger’s latest update is yet another example of “cool” Facebook becoming even cooler by borrowing the ideas of others. With Snapchat came Slingshot. With Periscope came Facebook Live. Now it’s Peach Ball.

What drives Facebook’s relentless attempts to be cool

I’m not bitter. Part of me hopes someone at Facebook “gets it.” Like me, I imagine it sees the power behind the random and quirky feature. Or, instead, it just copied a really great joke.

Still, this isn’t a defense of Peach. I understand the inherent problems with the app. It’s everything but nothing at the same time. Blogging is great, but micro-blogging directly to your phone, well, it doesn’t really work.

I’m not writing a postmortem. It’s more like a goodbye. I still have a shred of hope that Peach will find a community to rely on, somewhere out there. For me, the selling point is gone.

Peach Ball wasn’t going to save Peach because, most importantly, nobody uses Peach besides me and my two friends from college who live in New York.

Well, correction — I used Peach.

Now I just use Facebook Messenger.

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