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5 Google social media platforms that failed

5 Google social media platforms that failed


Google is notorious for canceling many projects. Currently, social media is largely dominated by Instagram, TikTok, and X (officially Twitter). However, Google has tried many times to build its own social media platform. The company has been trying for years to encourage users to share and communicate with each other across its many services, which have failed.

Google's tendency to discontinue software and services is so common that the infamous Killed by Google website was born. The Archive Cemetery holds a laundry list of about 300 products that were discarded from the company. Many products, including the ill-fated Stadia, have several platforms dedicated to social media.

Discover the secrets of Google's social media services that weren't made for this world.

1 Google Wave (2009 – 2012)

Source: Google

Back in the late 2000s, Google launched Google Wave, the first global “communication” social platform. Released on May 28, 2009, Google designed Wave to be a collaborative editing platform. Google Wave targeted people at school, work, and even at home.

Similar to Slack, Google Wave allows you to add photos, videos, and maps to your Wave. Each wave has a history, so you can catch up on future additions. Google Wave now lets you make your channels public. For example, let's say you have a community event like a bake sale. Locals can work together to decide the time, date, location of setup, and what is needed. In many ways, Google Wave was ahead of its time. To be honest, I find myself collaborating in similar ways on his Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other modern platforms.

Google Wave was available to developers before being made publicly available in 2010. Google then announced that it would cease development and maintenance of standalone Wave. By 2012, Google Wave became read-only software and all Waves were delisted. Development was taken over by the Apache Software Foundation and rebranded as Apache Wave, which was deprecated in 2018.

2 Google Buzz (2010 – 2011)

Source: Google

Shortly after the launch of Google Wave, Google Buzz was introduced. The idea was to create a platform for communicating, sharing and uploading media. Google Buzz had a better chance of success than previous versions. But for a platform focused on social networking and microblogging, not having heard of it is never a good sign.

Google Buzz had the ability to share links, photos, videos, messages, and other content. The platform was also highly integrated into his Gmail, along with Twitter, YouTube, FriendFeed, and Google Reader. Or you can privately share media and messages with a group of friends and have them sent directly to their inboxes. You can also interact by liking these posts.

The web version of Google Buzz was launched in 2010 and has since been optimized for Android and iOS. The platform came under intense scrutiny after its launch due to privacy concerns, which resulted in an $8.5 million lawsuit against Google. Google Buzz was shut down at the end of his 2011 as the name got dragged into the mud. However, all user content was stored in the user's Google Drive.

3 Orkuto (2004 – 2014)

Source: Google

Orkut is actually Google's longest running social network. It was first conceptualized by Orkut Büyükkökten, a Turkish software engineer, in 2004. Orkut is very reminiscent of his MySpace or his early Facebook. Even by today's standards, Orkut is the closest to a true social network of any Google project to date.

Orkut allows users to create profiles. You can add photos, statuses, and update your “scrapbook.” There were a lot of weird features in the early days, like the ability to rate friends, add testimonials, and add people to your “likes” list. You must have seen this episode of Black Mirror. Orkut's popularity skyrocketed in Brazil and India. In 2008, he became one of the most visited sites in both markets. Due to legal issues in the US, Google ultimately decided to move Orkut's operations to Brazil. It is alleged that hate campaigns and other problematic content were shared on the platform.

By 2014, Google shut down Orkut. The company gave him a two-year grace period to export profiles, scraps, testimonials and posts. Orkut's decline is believed to be largely due to its lack of global growth compared to the likes of Facebook and YouTube.

4 Google+ (2011 – 2019)

We have arrived at perhaps Google's most infamous attempt at a social media platform. Google+ built on the successes (both minor and major) of its predecessor. Google+ was built to integrate other Google products such as YouTube, Blogger, and Google Drive. In addition to that, they could also post media and update while interacting with each other. Many of us had it. Very few people used it.

Two weeks after launch, Google+ now has 10 million users worldwide. By the end of 2011, that number had increased to 90 million. Thanks to the integration of products like Gmail and YouTube, Google+ had their own monthly active user numbers. But looking back, I wasn't forced to spend time on Google+. Facebook reigned as a great platform at the time because it was a platform for millennials. Features like Circles and Hangouts encouraged community use, but Google+ still failed to maintain its audience.

By 2018, the company had announced plans to pivot away from the consumer version of Google+. The company cited low engagement as the reason. G Suite was replaced by Google Currents, which was also shut down by 2023 as Google focused on Google Chat. To this day, Google+ is considered one of the company's most notable failures.

5 Keene (2020 – 2024)

Source: Google

Finally, we reached the lesser known Keen. This social platform was launched during the pandemic and became an alternative to Pinterest. Keen was built as an project, using machine learning-powered recommendations to create virtual boards. Once you set up your ideas, the algorithm will provide recommendations based on what you like and dislike. For someone like me who loves cooking and is always looking for recipe ideas, this is an appealing idea.

Keen provided a way to curate a user's experience based on their preferences. If you have a topic in mind, Keen will provide recommendations. You can interact with other Keen by liking other posts, following other users, and commenting. Although Keens was intended to be publicly available, Google also provided private access.

By now, you should understand the drill. In March 2024, Google announced the closure of his Keen. “Keene was always intended as an experiment,” the team said in a post. Keen's website and app have been removed from the list and all posts and uploads have been removed.

RELATED Google Ends Latest Experiment in Social Media App Area 120 Experiment Called Keen Ends This Month Google may be king of some services, but social media isn't one of them

For more than 20 years, Google has demonstrated a relentless commitment to building social media platforms. The company was focused on being marginally unique, but could never compete with the likes of Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok. There is still room for new platforms, as platforms like Threads and BlueSky demonstrate. But if Google wants to add some skin to the game, it will need to show a willingness to continue the project for more than a few years.




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