Why is iGoogle being discontinued

Flop 10: Google projects that have been discontinued - from Buzz to Knol

Not everything that Google touches turns to gold. Over the past 15 years, the giant has repeatedly left behind a lack of understanding for discontinued projects - and some clear failures. In the last round of pranks, Google Reader also had to believe, the reasons remain in the dark. We remind you of the top 10 Google flops and discontinued services - from Wave to Labs, Buzz to Knol.

1. Google Wave

With Google Wave the real-time collaboration should be revolutionized, as a middle thing between Docs, Mail, Chat and Instant Messager. In practice, we also used the tool in the editorial team to plan topics, but in the end Wave made too high demands - you had to think away from conventional formats such as mail or chat. Wave could do too much and couldn't be understood at a glance - which is often the secret of Google's success. Only released to the public in May 2010, the project was not developed any further from August 2010 and was then finally set to read only in January 2012. Incidentally, the name was taken from Joss Whedon's sci-fi series Firefly, where video conversations are referred to as "Wave".

2. Google Buzz

That's right, there was still Google Buzz: Buzz added a kind of stripped-down Facebook functionality to Gmail. You could share links / videos / words, follow contacts and like their messages. Lifespan: From February 2010 to October 2011 - then further development focused entirely on Google Plus.

3. Google Video

If your own project doesn't pick up speed, simply buy up the competitor: In January 2005, Google launched its YouTube alternative. On the one hand, Google Video was a video search engine, but users could also upload their videos and other sites could embed them. In 2006 the group bought Youtube, the search and the services were interlaced, and from 2009 it was no longer possible to upload films to the original service.

4. Jaiku

Google wanted to get into the microblogging sector quickly - and in 2007 bought the Twitter clone Jaiku, who was just a few months old. Never heard of it? What happened to it? Jaiku.com was taken offline in January 2012.

5. Picnik

Picnik was an online photo editor that was used as a standard in a reduced version on Flickr, but was also available alone in premium and free versions. Google bought Picnik in 2010, but pulled the rip cord after two years and shut down the service in April 2012. Individual functions have been integrated into the image processing of Google+.

6. Google Lively

For a few months, Google also had its own Second Life: Google Lively offered a virtual 3D environment in which you could walk around with an avatar, set up your own rooms, and chat with up to 20 people. Started in July 2008, the servers were shut down again in December 2008.

7. Google Answers

The question / answer community from Google had a special feature: Those who asked could offer a prize for the answer (between 2 and 200 dollars). Google got 25% commission of this, but the quality of the texts was relatively high. Google Answers existed from 2002 to 2006, the archive is still available today.

8. Knol

At the start of 2008, Knol (pronounced as in English "knowledge") was primarily perceived as a competitor to Wikipedia. Google did not rely on crowd intelligence, but on expert opinions. This resulted in articles on individual specialist topics rather than an overarching lexicon. 100,000 “Knols” had been written within a year, but the project never attracted much attention - and in May 2012 it was discontinued.

9. iGoogle

iGoogle will not be discontinued until November 2013, but it is also on the list of Google projects that should revolutionize online use, but which tend to fall by the wayside. There is a nice idea behind iGoogle: When you open the browser, you get to your own homepage, which reflects your own interests and habits, shows local news and the new e-mails. But then it was not used.

10. Google Labs

Not directly an online project, Google Labs collected experimental Google plugins and pages from the start that could be tried out before. In July 2011, the group announced that it would be discontinuing the site and adding further development to individual projects such as Maps, Mail, etc.

Google's answer to the future: Google+

From the time since the founding of Google Inc. in 1998 there are not only success stories to tell - the English language Wikipedia provides a more detailed list of the discontinued Google projects. The end of the Reader is still questionable and has been interpreted by many as Google's departure from the idea of ​​a free Internet. On the other hand, the reader has apparently not been monetized since its start in 2005 (the news on GIGA at the time).

Instead of RSS feeds, the company is now recommending its social network Google plus, which is still not clear whether it is a success or a flop. The group is currently doing everything it can to establish its network, currently with the new comment system on YouTube. Because this is where the distribution battles for the Internet future and markets take place (well, next to the mobile sector, where Google is very well positioned with Android). Unless some kind of social upgrade from RSS develops out of the net, a viable alternative that is not controlled by companies.

(The article first appeared on March 15, 2013 and was revised for the Google anniversary)