Google recently announced that it is taking Google+ down. The decision was made after a security flaw was disclosed which exposed the private data of nearly half a million users. Previously Google had taken down six of their services or products for better or for worse. Here are a list and details of all the products which no longer exist.
Orkut was a product of Google’s then famous policy of allowing employees to spend 20% of their work time on their products. It was created by a Turkish software engineer creator Orkut Buyukkokten. It was released in 2004 and was a social media platform for connecting with friends old and new alike. By 2008 the site became popular in Brazil, India, and the Philippines. However, it faced legal and security issues. Google ended Orkut in 2014 when Facebook, YouTube, and Blogger – also a Google product – saw a rise. Google+ was unable to achieve what Orkut did seeing its active and engaged user base.
Picasa was free and powerful photo editing and managing app with online backup and sharing features. There were Picasa Web Albums through which people were able to share their pictures with friends and families. Google acquired it from Lifescape in 2004, and it was shut down in 2016.
AutoStitch is a powerful photo-stitching technology which was developed at the University of British Colombia. It was licensed by a company called Cloudburst Research which worked for the development of mobile apps for iOS and Android. These apps allowed users to take stitched photos in-app which looked like the panorama features of iOS. The app disappeared from the app store in 2015. Cloudburst Research tweeted to tell its users the same year that Google acquired the company hence the product ended.
Google Video was launched in 2005 before it acquired YouTube. Companies usually obtain competing services either to get their features into their products or to rely on a stronger brand. Google also did the same and ended video uploads in 2009 and then shut the company down in 2012.
Inbox by Gmail
Google’s powerful email application was released in 2015. The app had a lot of smart features. Google is focusing on a single email product, Gmail. Hopefully, Google will make Gmail as smart as it made Inbox.
Google created an elite standard feed in Google Reader which pulled new content from blogs, news sites by aggregating their RSS and Atom feeds. Google Reader was fast, beautifully minimal in design, and had powerful shortcuts to navigate feeds and perform various actions. The service was closed in 2013 since its use declined. There are various speculations on why the service ended. It was a service which the company nailed completely.