Mobile

Max Levchin leaves Google, Slide gets axed — blame Google+

Just one week after Slide’s Photovine photosharing app officially debuted, it appears that trouble is afoot for the Google-owned social app startup.

Slide founder Max Levchin (pictured right), who also cofounded PayPal, is leaving Slide and Google, All Things Digital reports. Slide itself will be shut down in the next few months, and remaining employees will be shuffled into Google proper. Meanwhile, the company’s apps, including the messaging app Disco and its other photo-sharing app Pool Party, are on track to be sunsetted — a fancy way of saying they’re going to be shut down.

For Google, a company that has typically made wise and forward-thinking acquisitions, the news comes as a surprise. Google purchased Slide last August for around $200 million, and it ran independently with the hopes that it would buoy Google’s flagging position with social apps and services. But that was before Larry Page reclaimed his CEO role at Google, restructured the company, and put an extraordinary emphasis on getting social right.

Now Google has Google+. Its fledgling social network is growing rapidly and has greatly reduced much of Slide’s initial value for the company. The gorgeous photo sharing in Google+, for example, competes directly with Photovine and Pool Party.

It’s also worth noting that many of Slide’s products, including Disco, Photovine and Pool Party, are iOS-only with no Android support. Indeed, Slide has seemed out of step with Google’s social moves for some time, something that can be attributed to the company being run autonomously.

The real question now is why did Google take so long to figure things out with Slide. The company could have saved a lot of wasted manpower and resources had it decided earlier that Slide’s apps weren’t necessary.

Slide has some 100 employees, some of which will land at YouTube (also run independently from Google), All Things Digital reports. Slide head of product Jared Fliesler is also jumping ship to Square, where he’ll join up with his former colleague Keith Rabois.

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