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Google is doing some fall cleaning and sweeping out plenty of old experimental projects and social features, including the failed social attempt that was Google Buzz and in a blog post, Google VP of Product, Bradley Horowitz, explained that success requires focus and also thought on what you work on as well as what you don’t work on and therefore their decision to discontinue several products. Also getting the axe is Jaiku, a social networking service that Google acquired in 2007, as well some of the social features on iGoogle nd the company’s Code Search service, which will officially be shut down along with its API on January 15th of next year………………..

 

Google said that it’s shutting down its previous attempt at social networking, Google Buzz and Google Vice President Bradley Horowitz, one of the Google+ leaders said the company plans to shutter Buzz in a few weeks. He noted that Buzz users will be able to view the posts created on Buzz in their Google Profile and download them using Google Takeout. Google Buzz launched in February 2010. The service got off to a rocky start with users raising concerns over privacy issues and it was difficult to make the list of a user’s followers private. Those concerns led the Federal Trade Commission to press Google to agree to a comprehensive privacy program this past March. Privacy issues were only one problem, Buzz simply never had the kind of great features that could lure enough users to make the service valuable and Google hopes to compete with in social networking. Buzz quickly faded to afterthought. On his Google+ account, Horowitz went into more detail about the decision to kill Buzz. “We think the time has come for us to focus our energy on projects that will have the most impact to the most users,” Horowitz wrote. “With the majority of Buzz users now here on Google+, it became obvious that all of our attention should be focused on this community.” Horowitz also noted that the privacy flap over Buzz forced Google to put more focus on giving users control over who gets to see what posts in Google+. In particular, it led directly to the three-month-old service’s Circles feature, which lets users easily select which of their followers get access to specific posts. “We learned privacy is not a feature…it is foundational to the product,” Horowitz wrote. He also noted that the immediate backlash over privacy concerns led his team to gradually roll out Google+, in order to fine tune the system before opening the service to the masses last month. Buzz isn’t the only Google business getting the ax. The company is also shutting down its Google Labs site, a move it announced in July. And the Boutiques.com and Like.com Web sites will be replaced by Google Product Search. Google is also killing Jaiku, a Twitter-like service it acquired in 2007. Its iGoogle social-networking feature will disappear on January 15. On the same date, Code Search, designed to help users find open-source code on the Web, will also shut down. Google’s blog post:

We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day. To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on. It’s why we recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products.

Here’s the latest update on what’s happening:

  • Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012.
  • In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it usingGoogle Takeout.
  • Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku.
  • Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are.
  • The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012.

In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.

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.

Posted by Bradley Horowitz, Vice President, Product

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