Just months after news of Google’s new platform Google Plus, broke, the internet giant has now announced the end of several other services. Google notified users via its blog and an email alert that it was canning seven products, including Google Wave, Google Bookmarks List, Google Friends Connect, and Knol.
Interestingly, many of these products were very popular with users, including Google Wave. Wave is a browser-base tool that mixes e-mail, with Instant Messaging and real-time online collaboration elements. At the time of its launch in 2009, Google Wave was described as ‘one of the most ambitious services that Google or anyone else has cooked up.’
I think the reasoning behind this particular product’s discontinuation is that Google Plus has provided a solution for many of Wave’s current user functionality demands. And while the other products canned hadn’t really taken off as hoped or predicted, I am not sure that right now is the time to make this announcement, with facebook continuing to grow in popularity, despite Google Plus carving new ground within the Google framework.
However, overall I agree with Google’s reasoning for shutting down the other products – that users were searching for more integrated ways in which to work. These days, people don’t have the time to manage their online presence across multiple platforms – they want their answers and tools in one convenient place for a more economical user experience.
Google are already leading the way in this regard with the development of Google Plus, and therefore eliminating the need for stand-alone products, such as the now discontinued Google Bookmarks List – a service which allowed users to share bookmarks with friends.
On the other hand, I feel some gaps existed for Google advertisers to find the most effective keywords for their business, and my company, SponsoredLinX, were days away from launching a tool, to be used in conjunction with Google, offering this functionality.
To conclude, while Google’s discontinuation of a number of its products may seem like a negative move for the company and industry, it is in fact a strategic move to bring a lot of its functionality under one operating platform. How this is perceived by users will all depend on how successfully Google manages to convey this message.