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Google Waves goodbye to ill-fated social project

That hour-long explanation video proves to be too much.

Image: Rene Fluger/Czech News Agency via PA

GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED it will be dropping its once-much-heralded Google Wave communications tool due to poor public take-up.

The high-profile product – opened on an invite-only basis in September 2009, and made fully available to the public in May – failed to live up to its hype and Google says it now has no plans “to continue developing Wave as a standalone product”.

The announcement is not much of a surprise, however, with users failing to find practical application for the tool – perhaps because it seemed to require users to watch an 80-minute showcasing video to explain how it was used.

Social media blog Mashable had reported that upon its launch, Wave was being heralded as a potential successor to email, such was its potential, though it now notes that the most remarkable thing about the product is its remarkable rise and fall from grace.

Wave marks the latest in a long line of Google’s failures to try and exert its influence in the social sphere; its most succesful venture was the launch of Orkut in 2004 which has its largest userbase in Latin America.

Its most recent venture, Google Buzz, drew the wrath of many privacy campaigners after Gmail users were automatically opted-in to the service which shared some of their personal activity with email correspondents without their knowledge.

Here’s a video of Google CEO Eric Schmidt talking about the demise of Wave:

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It has been suggested that some of the more popular features (if Google can identify any) of Buzz and Wave will be rolled into another social project from the company, known as ‘Google Me‘.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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