We regret to let all our users and supporters know that Class Messenger and OnTrack will be shutting down permanently on December 23rd.
UPDATE Dec 7th: We have been contacted by a number of buyers. We are hopeful that we can sort something out so that the service will continue. We should know in the next 2 weeks or so. We just want you to be prepared if it doesn’t work out.
The company has not been able to transition to a business model that allows it to continue to develop and maintain a strong product offering.
We know this will adversely effect tens of thousands of users of the service as well as the dedicated people who have spent the last few years developing one of the best products in edtech. We attempted to sell the company to someone who would carry on providing and improving the service but that wasn’t in the cards for us. We’re very proud of what we were able to provide Teachers, Parents and Students at no cost for the past few years…but we’re not able to continue.
Some questions/thoughts you may have:
I’ll pay for the service, just keep it running!
Unfortunately, our feedback from users is that there are simply not enough people willing to do that to make it a viable business.
Why did you wait until half way through the school year?
We had many good prospects for transitioning to different funding and/or selling to a larger company earlier in the year. Unfortunately, the business climate changed in edtech and we weren’t able to get something done in time. Several people have worked without any compensation to at least get it to the traditional holiday break without interruption.
What is going to happen to all my messages? My information? The information of the people in my Classes?
All of our databases will be permanently deleted shortly after the service goes offline on December 23. You can download messages in PDF form as always in your message log. We have never offered tools to download class member info so there is no easy way to move that information for you.
I’m very upset and going to write an email to you letting you know.
We don’t take this lightly. At all. Everyone who worked on Class Messenger is already quite upset about the fact all their hard work ends this way. We understand if you want to vent your frustration.
What about OnTrack?
We love that service but it hasn’t quite caught on with enough people. It will be shutting down on the same timing. As with any other app, you can contact Apple or Android directly if you feel you are due a refund. They are the only ones who can process that kind of thing.
Any chance someone will buy Class Messenger and bring it back?
Possibly but keep in mind we don’t want to keep anyone’s personal data once we shutter the service so as of December 23rd, we’ll be deleting all user data. If someone buys the service after that, they may bring it back but they won’t have any customer data at that point. If someone were to step up and purchase the company in the next month, they would have the option to keep it going. Several school boards have played with idea of buying it to get better control over their communication but none have decided to complete the transaction. We cannot wait any longer without making a more abrupt ending.
Why were you guys so dumb that you didn’t have a plan to make money?
Actually, there was a pretty good, clear plan in place when we started to use the service to help Scholastic sell more books with incorporated reminders and some other cool stuff. For reasons we can’t go into, that didn’t work out and we didn’t get a chance to do that. We then tried to make money via the OnTrack service but we simply ran out of time as it was only introduced early this year and it takes a while for things like that to get going.
What service should I use now?
Over the past few years, Remind has become more similar to our product (adding pictures, two way communication, voting) so that’s likely a good option. They seem to care about their users and have good product development as well as a lot more money to run their business so that would be the closest thing to Class Messenger. If you want a more constant stream (what people are calling ‘portfolios’) Class Dojo does a nice job.