Google just axed another service but this time it’s good news
There are many reasons that you should be happy that Google just killed a few more products. You’re getting some perks in the process, such as faster load times for web pages and better support for new features, without having to deal with the headaches that come with dealing with legacy apps that aren’t quite up to snuff.
Among the most recent services that have been killed are a few of Google’s early attempts at social networking. Buzz was an attempt to build a social component into Gmail, and it was also one of the first major Google attempts at a mobile messaging app.
Buzz was a bit like Twitter and allowed users to post status updates, photos, and links in a group chat. It was a great idea, but unfortunately, it didn’t catch on and Google decided to shut it down in 2018.
Lively was an attempt to build virtual worlds that you could interact with on the internet. It lasted a year and then got scrapped for a lack of interest from users.
Duplex was a web-based booking and reservation system that worked with the Google Assistant. It was only available for a few select sites, and Google has confirmed that it’s sunsetting the service completely in 2022.
Google Play Music was an attempt to compete with Spotify and iTunes, and it too didn’t catch on as quickly as its rivals did. It was originally pre-installed on Android devices, but it never took off in the same way that Apple and Spotify did.
It was eventually rebranded to Google Play Music and removed from Android phones. It’s now been folded into YouTube Music instead.
Allo was Google’s attempt to create an instant messaging app, but it didn’t take off the way that Messenger and WhatsApp did. It had some great features, such as Smart Reply and desktop support, but it ultimately lacked mass appeal and died in March of 2019.
Threadit was an asynchronous video collaboration platform that tried to merge the best of video conferencing and messaging into one app. It lasted just over a year and was the last project to be created by Google’s Area 120 incubator before it shut down permanently.
The Google-funded Area 120 team behind Threadit is now on to other projects. It was a shame, because the concept was so simple and so useful: just share a video clip with a co-worker to get their reaction or respond when you have time.
Spaces was another Google messaging app that died a quick death. It was built on the concept of private group chats, and it had a lot of the same features as messenger apps like WhatsApp. But it never caught on with the wider public and was shut down in April of 2019.
Aside from these apps, there are a few other Google services that will also soon be gone. The good news is that most of them are just a couple years old, so they’ll be out of your life before too long.