Sunday, October 16, 2011

From Google's Buzz to Google+

A day after announcing that Google+ has more than 40 million users, Google said that it's shutting down its previous attempt at social networking, Google Buzz.

In a blog post, Google Vice President Bradley Horowitz, one of the Google+ leaders, said the company plans to shutter Buzz "in a few weeks." He noted that Buzz users will be able to view the posts created on Buzz in their Google Profile, and download them using Google Takeout.

"Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past," Horowitz wrote. "We learned a lot from products like Buzz and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today's announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome."

Google Buzz launched in February 2010. The service got off to a rocky start, with users raising concerns over privacy issues. Initially, it was difficult to make the list of a user's followers private. Those concerns led the Federal Trade Commission to press Google to agree to a "comprehensive privacy program" this past March.

Privacy issues were only one problem, though. Buzz simply never had the kind of great features that could lure enough users to make the service valuable. It certainly never threatened Facebook, the company Google, then as now, hopes to compete with in social networking. Buzz quickly faded to afterthought