Yesterday Google pulled the plug on Google Wave, announcing that it will no longer continue developing Wave as a standalone product, and that it will just maintain the service until the end of the year.
This is a somewhat humiliating for Google. Launched in May 2009 to much hoopla, Google Wave was supposed to revolutionize communication, mixing text and multi-media in multiple real-time conversation threads. It’s hard to remember now but at the time it was seen as the next best thing, as the second coming of the web. Business week suggested that it could replace email (and FaceBook) altogether, and Tech Crunch touted Wave’s ambition to shape a new web.
Like many, I tried Google Wave at the time, and I came to the same conclusion that most of us guinea pigs: too noisy, continuously disrupting collaborative work, too many gizmos with no real clear advantage compared to old-fashioned communication technologies (read: email, IM, twitter, SMS, etc). Collaboration requires efficient communication, not a hose drowning the user with information. And that is likely why Wave was to fail from the beginning.
What’s next to be phased out, Google Buzz?