updated 02:55 pm EDT, Fri October 14, 2011
Google prunes Buzz and several services
Google's product VP Brad Horowitz told users Friday that several services were being culled in the near future. The company would first shed Google Buzz, its troubled social sharing service. Its programming interface should shut down in "a few weeks" and will limit users to reading and downloading whatever they made beforehand.
Buzz never gained much traction and triggered lawsuits through its possible privacy violations, where it auto-friended users without consent. Its absence on mobile apart from optimized Android and iPhone pages also hurt its chances.
An acquired Twitter rival, Jaiku, is also closing down as of January 15. Its closure will be more permanent and will only let users export the data they have.
Multiple other tools are shutting down on January 15. Code Search, which helps find open-source code, goes away that day. iGoogle's social elements are also disappearing, as is the University Research Program, an academic programming-level access to search data.
The Buzz, iGoogle, and Jaiku decisions are all directly related to Google+. It both provides many of the equivalents as well as more, such as live video chats and streams. It represents Google's first truly unified social effort and has been far more successful so far, getting 40 million users in just a few months.
During Google's results call on Thursday, CEO Larry Page warned that services were going away to help the company focus on Google+, search, and other more vital projects. Social networking is Google's stated main goal, and staff bonuses have been directly tied to how well Google+ and other social components do in challenging Facebook.