The new baby Google+ has 40 million users!
The arrival of Buzz more than a year ago sparked online controversies that somewhat tattered Google’s reputation at that time. There were lots of them actually. The least undermining was the online name ownership feud against Yahoo’s very own Buzz, a community-based article website, also a derivative platform that resembled Digg, which combined social bookmarking functions and syndication; Yahoo itself killed this service on April 21, 2011 due to unmet requirements and ineffectual performance. One unforgettable occurrence that blotted Google Buzz existence happened on its launch was when Gmail users automatically followed most of their messaged, contacted, and chatted friends; this incident ended in a settlement after some legal investigations done by the authorities.
Now, the search engine giant has decided to shutter its first social networking and microblogging tool to give way to their new baby—their new baby—Google Plus. And it’s not so unlikely and impossible to give all the attention to Google+ since it has just gained 40 million users this month.
On Google’s blog entitled “A Fall Sweep”, Bradley Horowitz, the company’s VP for product, expresses his thoughts about the shutdown incident. He wrote:
“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.”
What killed Buzz is itself, Google itself
Any gmail user will feel how timid Buzz was during its months of existence on its email platform. It was definitely dry, unorganized, and difficult to understand. There were no clear factors that let its users to understand that it was ready to improve its microblogging services as time passed by since it had poor performance. It was also a clear Twitter clone—a sickly and weak mimic— and using it had its user feel incomplete, incomplete compared with what they could get from Twitter.
Of course, it was also clear that it was built to threaten Facebook—but it was one complete failure. It never came close to Facebook’s marketing radar.
The problem was security. It never had the features that would make its user secure and safe as they used the service. Another thing was its not-so-awesome design. For it was badly created, just how its email service was.
Google also failed to create a real buzz for its own Buzz. After its launch, and after some forgettable feature releases and unforgettable legal and internal incidents that did some fair exposure on several news/tech sites at that time, the entire Buzz hibernated in oblivion.
Yet it is not only Buzz
Aside from the boring Buzz, the other boring gmail addition Labs has received the axing as well. Code search—a program designed to guide people find for source code online— along with Code Search API will be facing its final destiny on January 15 of the next year. Jaiku—which let users send updates and messages to their email friends, specifically a Twitter-like platform—will share Code Search’s verdict on the same date mentioned, although Google is still finding ways to enable users to export their data from it.
In addition, January 15, 2012 will be iGoogle’s social features and University Research Program for Google Search last day as well.
To iterate, as quoted from Horowitz’s words on Google’s official blog, Google Product Search will replace Boutiques.com and Like.com sites.
Empowering Google+ and all Google services
Whatever is happening now on Google, the recent axing of services and adding replacements and improving existing ones, are all part of Google Chief Executive Larry Page to focus more on expanding the company in the smoothest and functional way. As Horowitz’s words expressed it, Google has been using its past mistakes as learning experience to come up with better services that may and will improve lives in the near future.
And Google Plus can be a good future platform in the next days and years if it continues to come up with features and services that will make Facebook and other social networking sites a bit rattled, a thing that will push them to make more better products and services. Perhaps, it’s a competition-booster that will benefit ordinary people who are putting not just their free time but their trades as well on these social networking sites.
For now, to those who are saddened by Buzz and Labs axing, let’s just consider it as a learning experience. Move on folks, give way to Plus.