One of the things I've always admired about Google is the willingness to pull the plug on products and services. The company has long said that even failures are successes because the company learns from them.
And so, we bid an overdue farewell to Google Buzz, a poorly-executed attempt to battle Twitter in the microblogging social media space. Announced in February 2010, it was riddled from problems from the beginning, including the decision to embed it into Gmail accounts - as if we needed more noise in the inbox - and concerns over privacy.
Interestingly enough, I expected Buzz to get the axe sooner than now. The critics, myself included, never let up. And when Google Plus hit the scene, it was largely characterized as a social offering that exceeded anything the company had tried in the past, including Google Wave - also shuttered - and now Buzz. Now at 40 million strong, Google Plus is the new focus.
In a blog post, Products VP Bradley Horowitz, sums it up nicely:
Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.
The company also noted that, along with Buzz, it plans to shut down Code Search and the Code Search API in January, as well as Jaiku, an acquired product that let users send updates to friends. It will also close its University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to search results for a select group of academic researchers, in January.
Finally, the company will close Google Labs site today, following through on an announcement from earlier this year. Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.