Last week we wrote about how 2019 brought the closure of a free course provider with little notice. Now, Udacity has done something similar and pulled its mobile apps from the iOS and Android store. A few students (presumably active mobile users?) were sent an email the same day and informed of the closure. Below is the mail that these learners received (src: Reddit).
When we launched the Udacity app over 4 years ago, we were pleased to offer Udacity students our learning experience from the convenience of a mobile app. Ultimately, ten percent of Udacity students downloaded the app, and many enjoyed using it as an additional learning path.
In 2019, we are prioritizing massive upgrades to the Udacity classroom and service experience. We are focusing our efforts to support, motivate, and drive not only learning and career success for our students, but also to provide a world-class online learning experience.
Because the Udacity app has not significantly advanced students’ ability to achieve their learning and career goals, moving forward we will not support many of these product upgrades on the mobile app and will sunset the mobile app as of January 9, 2019. After this point you won’t be able to download or use the app anymore. The Udacity classroom experience, including Knowledge and Student Hub will remain supported on mobile web as it is today.
If you have questions, view the FAQ doc or reach out by responding to this email.
Your Udacity team
This move might also be related to Udacity’s cost-cutting process. According to a post on Udacity’s Engineering blog back in July 2018, Udacity’s mobile team had employed 9 people. In fact, the author of the blog post is no longer working at Udacity, according to his LinkedIn profile. He stopped working in November 2018, which is when Udacity announced its massive layoffs.
they had their issues for sure, but a lot of passion, thought, time and energy went into these apps with the goal of helping others learn
sad to see them go 😢 pic.twitter.com/9u3amgjIw6
— Nate Ebel (@n8ebel) January 10, 2019
The company ballooned to 500 employees in 2017 and ended 2018 with 330 employees. This past year, Udacity also increased Nanodegree prices and cut the pay for mentors and reviewers. To learn more about Udacity’s 2018, read Class Central’s in-depth Year In Review.
It’s not just the mobile apps that Udacity is sunsetting. Udacity is also shuttering its career services mentorship program on Jan 31st. Career services mentors gave personalized advice for LinkedIn profiles, resumes, and helped students navigate the path from graduation to finding their first or next job in 1:1 video chats. Udacity plans to integrate this service as part of the Nanodegree experience sometime this summer.