Goodbye Google Buzz: The World Barely Knew You

The ill-fated Twitter knock-off is gone for good

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After a tough life, rife with privacy complaints and confused users, Google Buzz will die in a few months so that the company can better focus its efforts on their new social network Google+. "Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past," Google's vice president of product Bradley Horowitz said in an official blog post on Friday that details the shutdown of Google Labs. "We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+."

Speaking of honesty about the past, back when it was launched in February 2010, Google Buzz was panned for trying to overcomplicate Twitter's successfully simplistic model. This week, veteran Google engineer Steve Yegge accidentally posted publicly a rant that panned Google+--he posted it on Google+ of course--for making a similar mistake in trying to copy Facebook:

Google+ is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership (hi Larry, Sergey, Eric, Vic, howdy howdy) down to the very lowest leaf workers (hey yo). We all don't get it. … Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that's not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. 

While they share some of the same basic features, Google+ is a very different initiative than Google Buzz. As Horowitz explains in his blog post, Google is moving to streamline its myriad projects and offerings into more focused goals. You have to admit, though, as much as people liked to make fun of Google Buzz and as mysterious as Google+ future may be, the end of the crazy experimentation zone that was Google Labs is sad. After all, even though Google Labs created all kinds of weird things like Google Buzz, Google Body and Google Breadcrumb, they also created Gmail. And that worked out pretty well.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.