Parse has closed its doors and is currently winding down its services.
Parse is a mobile backend as a service (BaaS) provider, which was created in 2011 by a number of ex-Google and Y Combinator employees. Parse was a tool used predominantly by mobile developers – although it could have been used in all sorts of situations other than mobile apps – to provide a suite of tools that most mobile apps use. The idea was to remove the hassle of creating a backend for your mobile app. Lots of mobile developers don’t have the skills or the interest in building and maintaining a scalable database or API that is quick, secure and optimised, which is where Parse came in.
In 2011 Parse gained venture capital of around $5.5M. In 2012 they reported that Parse was used by 20,000 mobile developers in even more apps. Their growth was at 40% per month.
Facebook acquired Parse in 2013 for $85M and in 2014 their app-base was at a reported 500,000.
Parse is still running, but will officially close its door in January of next year (2017). 12 months is a healthy amount of time for app developers to migrate to another platform, and Parse have open-sourced a large part of the platform to enable mobile developers to run their own version of Parse. Parse have also developed a MongoDB importer tool, to make migration a little easier. That said, a lot of app developers out there are going to be struggling, especially indie developers, as they will need to develop backend solutions for every app they have built using Parse.
Come January 2017 all apps that use Parse that have not been updated by developer and user will cease to function.
Parse nor Facebook have given no indication why Parse is closing down.
There are alternatives available for those using Parse. If you’re a game developer then you will probably want to check out Game Sparks (although it works great for business apps too), as well as Firebase.