Photo: Robert Scoble via Flickr
Google will pull the plug on Google Buzz in a few weeks, according to a new blog post by Google+ leader Bradley Horowitz.Buzz launched in early 2010 as a combination social network and blog that was tied into Gmail. It was sort of like a combination of Facebook and Twitter — you could follow people and see their updates on a wall — with some additional location-based services.
A lot of people checked it out early on, but interest waned quickly, and the company got a lot of flak for its weak privacy settings — basically, it automatically added certain people from your Gmail contacts, without checking with you first. Google quickly changed the privacy settings, but the damage was done.
Google+ takes a much different approach to privacy, encouraging users to set up specific circles (friends, acquaintances, Googlers) and then share only with specific circles. But even some Googlers don’t seem to understand quite how these settings work — the other day, a Google engineer accidentally took what was supposed to be a private rant about Google+ and Amazon and published it to the world.
Yesterday, Google CEO Larry Page said that Google+ had 40 million users, but it’s not clear how many of those users are sticking around and interacting frequently through the site, versus checking it out once or twice before losing interest … sort of like they did with Buzz.
Buzz now joins the long list of Google’s failed attempts at social networking.
Google is also killing some other products, including Code Search (which let users search source code), Jaiku (a social sharing company acquired in 2007). In recent months, the company has also culled quite a few other products like Google Health, Google Powermeter and Google Labs. It’s all part of Page’s attempt to put “more wood behind fewer arrows,” as he put it on a recent earnings call.
See also: 8 Google Products Larry Page Should Kill (Buzz was on the list)
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