Google takes the axe to Buzz and others, focuses on Google+

Google is axing a number of its limp social products, including Buzz, in favor of Google+ according to a blog post today by Vice President of Product Brad Horowitz.

And say goodbye to feeling like you have all the cool features your friends wish they knew about, as the Google Labs website dies off this afternoon.

“To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on,” Horowitz stated in the blog post.

The blog post states Buzz and the associated API (application programming interface) will bow out in the next few weeks, to make way for more products on the Google+ front. Google chief executive Larry Page announced in its earnings call yesterday that its fledgling social network has already surpassed 40 million users. Users will still be able to access their former buzzes through their Google profiles or by downloading it on Google Takeout.

Horowitz explained in a separate post on Google+ the impact Buzz had on the development of the new social network. He explained Google learned about the importance of social privacy after settling a hefty lawsuit targeting Buzz privacy concerns. These ultimately led to the development of Circles, a feature in Google+ that allows you to segment your friends and share information accordingly. He also stated lessons gleaned from Buzz shaped the way Google decided to roll out Google+.

“Probably the best lesson we learned is about how to introduce a product. We started very slowly with Google+ — in a limited Field Trial – in order to listen and learn and gather plenty of real-world feedback,” he stated in the post.

As part of Google’s fall sweep, Google Labs’ website will also take a knee. The company recently cut off its Q&A service Aardvark in preparation for Labs’ departure.  A spokesperson for Google clarified that Google’s “experimentation channels” such as Gmail and Maps Labs will remain alive, for all you Gmail users who love that “undo” feature. The company will still use these channels as an opportunity to test out new ideas.

The company is also cutting off iGoogle’s social features, taking effect January 15, 2012.

Buzz was introduced in 2010.


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