Remember Google Wave? The product that many of us thought would change the way we communicate, forever. Sadly, a little more than a year after it was first announced, Google has decided to pull the plug on Wave.
Wave was one of the most hyped web services in recent history. The artificially created scarcity of invites even prompted many to shell our hefty cash for invites to an essentially free service.
I still believe that Wave deserved all the attention it received. It truly was a revolutionary service. Unfortunately, Wave might have been too different for its own good. Many failed to grasp the concept of Wave and struggled to get started, while several others grew frustrated with the chaotic nature of an open ended communication platform like Wave.
Earlier today, Urs HÃ¶lzle, senior VP of operations and Google Fellow at Google, acknowledged in a blog post that Wave has not seen the user adoption Google would have liked. As a result of the lack of interest surrounding Wave, Google has decided to pull the plug. Although the standalone service will be available til (at least) the end of the year, Google will not be developing Wave as a product any further.
Over the past few years, Google has tried and failed repeatedly at making inroads into the social web. While Google was busy dealing with one failed product launch after another, Facebook went from strength to strength and is now in a position to dominate not only the social web, but also the web in general. At this point of time, Facebook is quite possibly the biggest threat to Google, and Google knows it. The closure of Wave demonstrates that Google is looking to cut its losses and focus on the impending launch of its new social network – Google Me. Make no mistake, Google Me might be Google’s last chance to fight back. If it fails again, it might be too late to stop Facebook.