Why you should think twice before using a new Google service

Google desktop and mobile image

Google has a really bad habit of creating (or buying) great services and then deciding to put those services on ice.

Discontinuation of products by Google poses several significant issues. Firstly, it causes disruption and inconvenience to users who rely on those products. When a product is shut down, users who have integrated it into their workflows or daily routines are left scrambling to find alternatives, leading to frustration and wasted time.

Moreover, the discontinuation of products can erode trust in Google among its user base. Users may feel betrayed or disillusioned if they invest time, effort, and sometimes money into a product only to see it discontinued later. This loss of trust can extend to other Google products, with users becoming hesitant to adopt new offerings for fear of them also being discontinued.

Another consequence is the fragmentation of Google’s ecosystem. Discontinuing products can lead users to seek out alternatives from other providers, resulting in fragmentation and disjointed experiences across different platforms. This fragmentation not only affects users but also developers who build third-party applications or services relying on Google’s APIs or platforms. They may face challenges and additional costs in adapting to the discontinuation of key platforms or services.

Furthermore, prematurely shutting down products may result in missed opportunities for improvement and innovation. Even if a product doesn’t perfectly align with Google’s vision, it may still have value and potential for growth. By discontinuing products too soon, Google may miss opportunities to iterate, pivot, or find new applications for those technologies.

Below are a few examples of products that Google developed, promoted, and ultimately killed.

  1. Google+: A failed attempt at social media
  2. VPN by Google One: A virtual private network service that provided encrypted data transit and IP address masking. It will be discontinued in about 8 months.
  3. Google Jamboard: A collaborative whiteboard app that will be turned off in 8 months.
  4. Jamboard (hardware): A digital 4K touchscreen whiteboard device for collaboration, to be discontinued in 5 months.
  5. DropCam: Wi-Fi video streaming cameras acquired by Google in 2014, discontinued about 1 month ago.
  6. Google Podcasts: A podcast hosting platform and Android app, discontinued about 1 month ago.
  7. Google Glass: An ambitious wearable augmented reality device that faced privacy concerns and was discontinued.
  8. Google Reader: A popular RSS feed reader that was shut down, much to the dismay of its loyal users.
  9. Google Wave: An early collaboration platform that didn’t gain traction and was eventually abandoned.
  10. Google Stadia: A cloud gaming service that struggled to compete with established players in the gaming industry.
  11. Google Jacquard: A smart fabric technology that didn’t quite take off.
  12. YouTube Originals: Google’s attempt at original content for YouTube, which was later scaled back.
  13. Various messaging apps: Google experimented with several messaging apps over the years, including Allo, Hangouts, and Duo, but most of them were eventually discontinued.

Don’t be surprised when Search ends up on the list, Google serves answers now.

These examples illustrate Google’s tendency to experiment with new products and services but also its willingness to sunset those that don’t meet expectations or align with its long-term strategy. While some of these services may have been innovative, they ultimately didn’t resonate with Google vision.

Last note, the discontinuation of products may create a perception that Google prioritizes innovation over stability. While innovation is essential, users also value stability and reliability in the products and services they use. Finding a balance between innovation and stability, while considering the needs of users and developers, is crucial for maintaining trust and credibility in the long term.

For a complete list of discontinued service check out https://killedbygoogle.com/

Author: Michael Winchester

Website developer, field recordist, instrument builder. My background is largely based in design for the music industry; websites, micro-sites, and apparel. With that experience, I bring a fresh approach to corporate and construction-related web projects looking to stand apart from the competition. My goal is to help clients better understand different aspects of SEO and website development; I write short, easy-to-digest articles on search engine optimization and website performance-related topics.In my free time, I enjoy field recording, sound design, and building unusual musical instruments.Michael Winchester is a website developer and search engine consultant in Southern California. Michael Winchester Design | (562)283-5688