Google Wave Officially Shut Down

Google has officially shut down Google Wave, a real-time service for sharing docs, sending emails and messages with friends and relatives. Google announced about the shutdown in November 2011, stating that – from January 31, 2012, all waves will be read-only, and the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. As a part of the shutdown, all Waves will be deleted automatically.

Google launched the online real-time sharing tool back in August 2009. That year, Google Wave was the most anticipated product of the year with people desperate to get their hands on an invite. Google Wave was then released to the general public on May 19, 2010. Despite the hype and intensive publicity, Google Wave failed to survive.

Google Wave was launched in order to compete with Facebook, however, the new networking site didn’t offer features as advanced as Facebook, and it is where it failed to pick up its user base.

Google Wave Officially Shut Down

Google Wave did have some great features in terms of collaboration and editing documents. However, users showed no interest, since they found the service confusing and perhaps not very intuitive. A year after the launch, Google realized that Wave was going nowhere towards success, and thus it finally announced that the Wave project was getting killed.

Later, it was announced that Wave was going to end up as an open source project hosted by the Apache Foundation. Wave did have a lot of great features for collaboration, and the move to open source was welcomed by many.

Now that Google has shut down Wave completely, visiting the page – will redirect you to a support page, where Google explains the two stages of closing down of Google Wave –

Stage 1: Google Wave is read-only — January 31, 2012

In this stage, you will no longer be able to create or edit waves. Marking a wave as read will also not be saved. Robots that try to write to a wave will stop functioning.

During this time, you will continue to be able to export your waves using the existing PDF export feature. You’ll still be able to read existing waves and access the Google Wave client.

If you want to continue using Wave, there is an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature to import all your waves from Google.

Stage 2: Google Wave shut down — April 30, 2012

In this stage, all the Google Wave servers will be shut down and you will no longer be able to get to your waves. Make sure to export any waves you want to save before that time.

For those users who really loved Google Wave and are interested in continuing to use Google Wave service, the service can be found at the Apache Software Foundation, where development of Wave has continued since 2010. You can take a look at it – Wave In A Box.

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Joel Fernandes

Joel Fernandes (G+) is a tech enthusiast and a social media blogger. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking photographs, and photography is one of his most loved hobbies. You can find some of his photos on Flickr.He does a little of web coding, and maintains a tech blog of his own - Techo Latte.Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Application from Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on Twitter - @joelfernandes, or visit his Facebook Profile for more information.

  • This article is not complete without mentioning the startups that found Google Wave to be so productive for their own work, that they were literally forced to develop their own products.

    There are several startups that have been inspired by Google Wave:

    * – free and open source, it continues and expands the Google Wave philosophy with cool features like tasks and Twitter-like mentions.

    * – very similar to Google Wave at first glance, but seems to focus more on meetings.

    * – a B2B service for companies that go heavy on text-based communications. It is designed to support both email and hosted conversations within a single UX, allows to assign tasks and keep track of them, and has built-in workflows for general communications, helpdesk, Kanban and sales.

    I bet there are others out there. Google Wave was not about social – it was a business communication tool that was not positioned and packaged properly.

  • Google Wave was a wonderful collaboration tool and it also did great as a “social” tool but that wasn’t its initial goal. Google Wave wasn’t launched nor advertise to be a Facebook competitor.

    Google Wave was a Labs product intended to demonstrate the “Wave Protocol”, who was launched to compete with the obsolete POP and SMTP e-mail protocols.

    See the Google Wave announcement video:

    Also, even if it’s still quite empty, the actual Apache Wave-in-a-Box website is