amazon / flipkart

Last year, Flipkart launched Ping amid much fanfare. So much for the propaganda, that the company hosted an Apple/Samsung like launch event to showcase the same. Well, it hasn’t really found any traction whatsoever, and is hence being shut down.

Just in case you forgot (which is pretty obvious since Ping doesn’t have many users), Ping is an in-app floating button which enabled users to share the products and chat with friends. The company has now decided to shut down the same, along with its Image search feature.

Flipkart’s official statement reads,

After 25th June, 2016 users will not be able to chat with their friends or family on Ping but will be able to browse through their existing chats on the app. Customers will continue to be able to share any messages or products through any social media platform of their choice.

We will, keeping in mind the consumer preference, discontinue Image Search, but will continue to support the ” Visually Similar” feature on the platform to make shopping easy and seamless.

While it is shutting down Ping, a new and more useful feature is coming. As per the latest reports, Flipkart is soon coming with a chatbot which will allow users to chat with sellers. (Yawns!!! nothing new folks, everybody has a chatbot)

Commenting about the upcoming feature, Flipkart said,

This new feature will help users to chat with the sellers about their product related queries, prior to even buying the final product. The pilot which started with a limited set of sellers initially, will be expanded to more sellers in the due course of the project.

The company said it is also beginning pilot to allow users to interact with customer care executives on a real-time basis for order, returns or refund issue.

Flipkart had partnered with Visenze, a Singapore-based firm for its image search feature. It allowed users to browse similar products based on the image they upload. It is citing UX difficulties as a reason to shutdown the feature.

India’s largest ecommerce brand launched Ping in August last year as an invite-only feature. It claimed that 2.5 million users had downloaded it within 10 days of its launch. The company even aired television commercials to extensively promote the feature. However, the social commerce efforts by the company didn’t work as expected and has now decided to drop curtains.

Earlier this year, Flipkart shut its groceries delivery app, Nearby. It was shut down just after five months of its operations. However, since it was a pilot project, it didn’t market or promote the app.

India’s biggest e-commerce firm is currently under immense pressure. It is struggling to raise further funding round at its preferred valuation due to back-to-back markdowns. When markdown phase got over, Amazon India got an infusion of $3 billion.

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