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Google to put Buzz out of its misery

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In the most literal example of a “buzz kill” we’ve ever heard of, Google announced today that it will shut down its failed social networking property Google Buzz. The company will now focus all its social networking resources on the far more promising Google+.

“We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+,” wrote Google Vice President Bradley Horowitz on the Official Google Blog. “Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.”

Now, most of you are likely asking, “Wait a minute, Google Buzz was still alive?” We asked ourselves the same question. And that, it would seem, is precisely the reason why Google has put the failed-from-the start product out of its misery. That said, Google doesn’t view Buzz as a mistake. Rather, it sees it as a learning opportunity, especially when it comes to user privacy – something Buzz didn’t get right, at all.

“What did we learn from Buzz? Plenty,” writes Horowitz in a post on his personal Google+ page. “We learned privacy is not a feature… it is foundational to the product. And this awareness gave us the resolve to design privacy in from the very beginning, which led to Circles for sharing the right information with the right people, as well as transparency around which parts of your profile can be seen by whom. We also learned how compelling it is to have meaningful conversations with interesting people, which we’re happy to see happening all the time in Google+.”

In addition to Buzz, Google will also retire Code Search, an open source code search tool; Jaiku, a micro-blogging social network Google purchased in 2007; the social functionality of iGoogle; and the University Research Program for Google Search, which gave academic researchers access to Google’s search API.

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Andrew Couts
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