The search giant will also shut down the Google Labs siteand replace Boutiques.com and Like.com with Google Product Search later today, as promised, in addition to getting rid of several lesser-known products. Google is ditching Buzz and its API. Existing Buzz content will still be viewable on a user's Google Profile and downloadable from Google Takeout.
"Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google . Our users expect great things from us; today's announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome," Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product at Google, wrote in a blog post. Though Google is having some success in the social space with Google , it got off to a rocky start with Buzz, which was introduced in February 2010. It added a "news feed" feature to Gmail and was also
incorporated into Google's mobile offering on Android phones and the iPhone. Amidst concerns over what information was displayed publicly, however, Google soon tweaked Buzz to give user more control over their settings.
This did not appease all users, however, and a class-action suit was born. Google eventually agreed to pay $8.5 million, which–after attorneys' fees and expenses were deducted–was donated to Internet privacy and education organizations.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) also filed a complaint with the FTC, resulting a March settlement that required Google to develop a comprehensive privacy program and submit to regular audits of its privacy policies.
Google , meanwhile, was unveiled in late June with a limited number of users, and a Google invite quickly became the hottest ticket in town. The hysteria died down a bit after Google started allowing users to send out invites, but there was a lot of talk about whether Google had finally landed on a social networking product that could compete with Facebook. It opened up to the public in September.
During a Thursday earnings call, Google CEO Larry Page said Google now has 40 million users. "People are flocking into Google at an incredible rate and we are just getting started," he said.
Also on the chopping block, meanwhile, is Code Search, which will be gone as of January 15. Google will also shutter Jakiu and remove the social feature on iGoogle the same day and shut down its University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to its search results for academic researchers.
Google purchased Twitter rival Jaiku in October 2007. The Helsinki-based service had emerged a year before and allowed members to post instant updates about their activities and whereabouts online from mobile phones. Google first announced plans to shutter Jaiku in January 2009, along with several other products, including Google Catalog Search, Dodgeball, Google Mashup Editor, Google Notebook, and uploads to Google Video.
This "fall sweep," as Google termed it, comes amidst a variety of changes to Google products as part of Page's new product-focused management structure.