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 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 – google.com/wave 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.