14 October 2011

Google To Get Rid Of Buzz, Jaiku And iGoogle Social Features

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On October 14 of 2011, Google announced they would finalize the closing of the Google Labs site, Google Buzz, Jaiku, Code Search and the social features in iGoogle

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/fall-sweep.​html  

And my response to that is: FINALLY

iGoogle Social

I first wrote about this back when i was still in Widgets Lab -- when it was an actual Widgets Blog -- back in mid 2009 i think. At the time it was a good idea. Google had this very broad Widget strategy and as interest went from widgets to social widget-apps -- like most in Facebook -- to mobile apps. Google lost interest and never did something with it. The same with what could had happened with Open Social + Friend Connect + Web Elements. Nothing really came out of it for the full web. Too bad as it could had been great on that model. Yet i do realize that the same tech were also later part of the inspiration for Google Wave and Google Buzz.

And since they never really did much with them. The awareness was low with iGoogle users. Users that more than likely defected over Facebook.

Jaiku

Ugh, this one is a sad story. Google says that they don’t fear competition and that they are all about pushing innovation and that they are not evil. But what happened with Jaiku and Dodgeball for that matter was the opposite of that.

Most don't know it, but Dodgeball (now Foursquare of course) played a part as inspiration for Twitter evolution and for the creation of the Pownce.

Jaiku was even more significant as it was also inspiring for the model brought by Pownce. You know, the very same social messaging network model used in Google Plus?

When Google acquired Jaiku, they were more interested in killing Jaiku, taking their tech and using the team that created Jaiku for Android. As the key ones were talented ex-nokia. But as actually killing it would had looked bad back then. They instead just stopped allowing sign ups. And let it rot.

Jaiku should had been very big. If Google had put their full weight behind it, i think they would had been able to keep up with Twitter. But on the positive side, the locking of Jaiku was what sparked multiple derivatives  like Identi.ca, Status.net and Plurk, among many others around the world.

Pulling the plug on Jaiku now is just symbolic. As the service has been comatose for a long long time.

Google Buzz

Ah yeah, the poorly made, thought and implemented afterthought of Social Stream concepts, Jaiku concepts and of course Google Wave tech. The one that got Google in hot water for their horrible decision of integrating it and implementing it inside Gmail. To the point were lots of civil and small business complains were made on it. And a lawsuit was also won over it against Google. Among who knows what else behind the scenes.

But in the positive side it served up as a test to Google Plus just like Google Wave.

I remember the first time i entered Google Plus and saw there was a Google Buzz tab. I actually groaned out loud:

"What the hell is this thing doing here?"

And from my first comments about Google Plus, i recall saying that the two things that should be instantly purged out of it, had to be Google Buzz and Sparks. Google seems to now fully agree with one, now i hope they agree on the other one and remove Sparks too.

Conclusion

The question is not why Google is removing those services now, it is what took them so long. With the case of the mentioned projects in this post being those that were the most long overdue.

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