In The It’s About Danged Time Department, Google officially tolled the bell for Google Buzz today. At long last and in a move that should surprise no one, Google is shutting down the lackluster Buzz social effort, its API and converting all relevant resources there to its Google + social network.
In a blog post from Google, exec Bradley Horowitz wrote:
In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout.
Horowitz, Google’s vice president of product, added that today Google Labs is officially dead, too. Other victims of Google’s so-called Fall Sweep include Google Labs. Its site is officially down today.
On or by January 15, Google intends to shut down its Code Search and Code Search API services, the University Research Program for Google Search and Jaiku, a member-based update service it acquired in 2007. Those users will be transitioned to Google +, Horowitz said.
As Google announced earlier, Google Product Search now replaces the erstwhile Like.com and its Boutiques.com.
Back to Buzz, while the service never really grabbed hold since its early 2010 release, it sure grabbed the attention of major privacy watchdogs in the United States, Canada and in the European Union. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), with support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, also filed privacy complaints with the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. and officials in Canada and overseas. Canadian Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, in an official statement said her office saw “a storm of protest.”
The FTC has been particularly tough on Google Buzz. It issued a statement saying it agrees with EPIC’s claims, prompting Google to announce its so-called Google Comprehensive Privacy Plan. The killing of Buzz does get certain government agencies disentangled from Google. Regardless, Google + execs are wise to learn from the privacy criticisms governments leveled against Buzz.