Today Google announced that a number of products would be shut down on January 15, 2012. The statement on the Google Official Blog informed the world that Code Search, Jaiku, iGoogle social features and others would be closing as a part of the “Fall Sweep” (a play on Spring Clean). Google said the closure of applications part of a change of focus on “what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on”.
The most notable closure is that of Google’s first major move into the social media market, Google Buzz. Google Buzz was supposed to be Google’s answer to the hugely popular social networking site, Facebook, but never lived up to expectations. Buzz is being closed on the back of Google’s latest answer to Facebook, namely, Google+.
Google VP for Google+ Bradley Horowitz is reported as having said, “Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past.” He says that, “[Google] learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+”
The iGoogle social features are to suffer the same fate as Google Buzz and are also going to be shut down in January 2012.
Applications being shut down
Code Search & Code Search API: Designed to help people search for open source code all over the web Jaiku: A social updating feature that sllows users send updates to friends. Google acquired this product in 2007 Google Buzz & Buzz API: Googles first University Research Program: An API that provides access to Google search results iGoogle Social Features: Allows users to interact socially on the iGoogle
Google Drawing Line Under Web Failures
The web landscape changes daily and websites that aren’t popular or promoted fall by the wayside. This is the natural order of a rapidly changing world of technology that is only increasing in pace.
Google claim to be “Changing the World” saying that, “Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.” But surely this is Google simply admitting past failures and hoping to draw a close on a raft of failed projects.
Philip Brassington of Rake Mark Web Design, Staffordshire says that with their “Fall [Autumn] Sweep” Google are admitting to past failures and attempting to draw a line under them. “Google Search is a spectacular success, but they have found how competitive the web is with their other ventures and have had some equally spectacular failures.”
Not many companies have the resources to plough into idea after idea, trying to find that magic formula. You do have to wonder if a few years from now Google+ will go the way of Buzz