Q3 earnings report, Google announced a "fall sweep" of old products into the dustbin of Internet history. In the most telling move - albeit one which we knew would come - Google Buzz and its API are finished, and Google Plus will absorb the old content. The open data standards that made Buzz interesting will be replaced with the haltingly slow rollout of APIs for Google Plus. Google Labs is also gone for good. The site will shut down effective today.The day after its
In addition to Buzz and Labs, a slew of mis-remembered little projects are going away, too. Google Code Search and the Code Search API will be shut down on January 15, 2012. Jaiku, a 2007 acquisition of a Twitter-like nature, is no more. The social features for the iGoogle homepage will be replaced by Google Plus. The University Research Program for Google Search will close its API for academics.
Even though Google Buzz wasn't terribly good at anything, from a user standpoint, we at least enjoyed its developer-centric nature. It was all about open data. That may have been all it had going for it, but that meant something. Its replacement, Google Plus, is awfully slick and smooth and secretive. The few APIs released so far barely enable developers to make anything, much less anything interesting.
Google sure is a busy place. Its whole business is undergoing rapid transformations, even if its quarterly earnings are reported so generally that they seem stable.
Google is spending money and changing shape. It's launching social networks and buying handset manufacturers. It's hiring new people, buying new infrastructure, and now it's shedding old products. When will Google start to break a sweat?
What's next for Google? Sound off in the comments.