Buzz Kill: Google To Bury Buzz In Google+ Push
Andrew R. Hickey
Google is kissing Google Buzz goodbye.
Google Buzz is the long-struggling social network that Google launched in February 2010 as an attempt to rival Facebook and other social media darlings. It will be shut down in coming weeks as Google turns its attention to its other suffering social network, Google+, Google announced this week.
Google Buzz had been unable to gain traction after its lukewarm reception. While Google hasn't set an exact data for Buzz's big shutdown, the search giant said that users who want to save their Google Buzz posts can use Google Takeout to download them.
"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 using Google Takeout," wrote Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product for Google, in a blog post.
Google Buzz was plagued with issues from the get-go: It was clouded by privacy and security fears, dogged by lack of features and unable to stack up against chief social networking foe Facebook.
Google shuttering Buzz coud be seen by some as a mercy killing, but Google said that it will learn from the Buzz bust and try to right its social media wrongs with Google+. Ditching Buzz will help Google sharpen its Google+ focus.
"Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past," Horowitz wrote. "We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+."
Google's Buzz kill comes as the company has vowed last month to pare down its product and service offerings and "put more wood behind fewer arrows," Google CEO Larry Page said.
Along with Google Buzz, Google said it will shut down Google Code Search and the Google Code Search API, tools to help people search for open source code on the Web. It will also take out Jaiku, a product Google acquired 4 years ago that helps users send updates to friends. Google will shut down Code Search and Jaiku on Jan. 15, 2012.
Google also plans to tweak iGoogle to make way for Google+. Google will remove the iGoogle social features that it added to iGoogle several years ago come Jan. 15, 2012. Google said iGoogle itself and non-social iGoogle apps will be untouched.
Meanwhile, Google has shut down the Google Labs Web site. Google said in July that it would shut down Labs this year. Google also replaced two of its other Web sites, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com, will be replaced by Google Product Search.
"We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day," Horowitz wrote. "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."