There is no longer any buzz surrounding Google Buzz, as Google Inc. plans to kill off its microblogging service with a shift to focus more on its social networking Web site, Google Plus, and streamline its vision. But will Google+ succeed or be another failed attempt at a social network like Buzz?
In a few weeks we'll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+, Google's VP of product development Bradley Horowitz wrote on Google's official blog. 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 using Google Takeout.
Having been around for only twenty months, Google Buzz was a social network cross between Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to post status updates, photos and videos to a Buzz feed.
Along with Buzz, Google is also canning other platforms like Jaiku, Code Search and social features on iGoogle. In addition, Google is also cutting Google Labs, which was a place to explore possible prototypes of software.
However, the decision to kill off Buzz comes as Google plans to shift its concentration towards expanding Google+ and to develop current projects rather than shooting out countless small projects doomed to be botched.
Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past, Google vice president Bradley Horowitz said. 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.
Since its release on June 28, Google+ has amassed over 40 million users, mostly after it opened to the public on Sept. 20, and according to Google CEO Larry Page, Plus is a force to be reckoned with.
People are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started! Page said Thursday during Google's third quarter earnings release.
Page also said during the conference that Google will begin to intertwine its products in with Plus for an automagical user experience. Since replacing former CEO Eric Schmidt in April, Page has killed off 20 Google products in an attempt to reign supreme in Internet search and fight for domination of the smartphone market.
The news comes just days after Google engineer Steve Yegge pulled a Jerry Maguire, accidently and publically posting a 4,000-plus-word criticism of Google+ on his own account for all to see.
Google+ is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership (hi Larry, Sergey, Eric, Vic, howdy howdy) down to the very lowest leaf workers (hey yo), he wrote. We all don't get it.
Intended for his co-workers' eyes only, the long opinionated rant continues on to bash the Google's latest attempt at social media.
Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that's not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work, Yegge wrote on Google+. So Facebook is different for everyone. Some people spend all their time on Mafia Wars. Some spend all their time on Farmville. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there's something there for everyone.
While Google+ enjoyed a 1,269 percent spike in traffic after opening to the public in late September, traffic has since dropped more than 60 percent, according to Chitika, leaving the world wondering if the social media Web site can deliver. Its estimated 40 million users seem minute in comparison with rival Facebook's 750 million, especially since it only accounts for users who signed up and might not necessarily be active or ever log in.
However, looking back at the growth patterns, Google Plus completely outperformed Facebook and Twitter in comparison to their start, though the number of public posts since July have dropped 41 percent, according to The Street.
Google Plus may be still rising but the company appears to be doing well financially, as it exceeded all estimates of its third quarter financial results Thursday. Google Inc. reported revenues of $9.72 billion, 69 percent of which comes from Google-owned sites.