Everyone understands the importance of streamlining. The old phrase ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ should never be true of a business that intends to succeed. Still, many have begun to feel a little unsteady given the wave of Google products which have been led to the chopping block in recent months. Forums are filled with questions about whether or not Google is a reliable place to store data given the fear that hardly any location within its purview seems safe long-term. Let’s take a look at just a few of the most recent products to be axed.
Code Search – scheduled to close by January 15, 2012
Admittedly a niche search tool, code search was created to aid in searches for open source code across the Web. Code Search API will also feel the blade in January.
Google Buzz and Buzz API – will shut down any time over the coming weeks
Similar to Google Wave, which involuntarily gave up the ghost in 2010 after just one year, Google Buzz is another social service to get the pink slip. Google Buzz was introduced in 2010 (on the heels of Wave) as an application that went hand-in-glove with the Gmail email service. Google Buzz allowed its users to share videos, photos and updates with their friends. It enjoyed a quick surge of popularity and then died in the water.
Google Buzz quickly proved to be problematic due to its automatic enablement. The product automatically made public its user’s email contacts. Google worked to redesign and enhance the product’s privacy and changed it from kicking in automatically to becoming an opt-in service. Unfortunately, privacy-minded advocacy groups filed a class-action suit over the service which ended up costing Google $8.5 million dollars.
The shutdown means that users can no longer make new postings. The company assures users that they will continue to be able to access their already existing content on Google Profile. Users can then download their content through Google Takeout. Given Google’s public commitment to focusing on the new Google+ social networking site, the laying to rest of Google Buzz comes as no surprise.
Jaiku – scheduled for shutdown by January 15, 2012
Jaiku is a micro-blogging platform used to send updates to friends which Google acquired in 2007. The product never really gathered steam and in 2009, Google announced that it would no longer continue to develop it. Google is working on a strategy that will permit users to export their Jaiku data.
iGoogle – scheduled for dismantling on January 15, 2012
According to Google, iGoogle will only be divested of its social features. Launched in 2009, iGoogle was a format for photo and video sharing, information sharing and online game playing. All of iGoogle’s non-social applications are to remain unchanged. Redirected focus toward Google+ is the reason for this social axe.
The University Research Program for Google Search – also scheduled to end on January 15, 2012
This provided a small cadre of academic researchers API access to Google search results.
Google Labs – already downed
Launched in 2002, Google Labs represented Google’s company commitment to innovation and served as something of an incubator where product prototypes were made available to end users for trial testing. Most of the projects never made it beyond testing with a couple of notable exceptions being Google Maps and Gmail.
This close probably caught many by surprise because it seemed counter-intuitive to the company’s public image as one interested in releasing and openly refining employee-developed products. Google says it still encourages giving 20 percent of work time to the development of personally designed products.
Most of the products that got the axe are either being enfolded into other stronger products (eg: Google+) or were so little used that few will notice their demise. CEO Larry Page could be focusing energy on Google+ and its current 40 million users in an effort to close the gap with competitor Facebook and its more than 750 million users. Is this concentrating on doing fewer things better? Or, as some have suggested, is it more of the ‘throw ideas up against the wall and see what sticks’? If it’s the latter, it could ruin many an appetite for pasta.
Our Production and quality of work is based on years of training in collaboration with top level software engineers in the industry.
Webmaster Studio, Inc.
757 3rd Ave, Floor 20th
New York, NY 10017
Please sign up for our email list, where we will send you up to date news and promotions.