Gizmodo on '12 of Google's Most Embarrassing Product Failures'

Despite its eminence, Google has a lot of failed products and services in its history. To any other company of a smaller size, the media would liken it to Icarus’s obsession with flying towards the sun. But not Google! The multi-billion dollar enterprise is a risk taker with a hyperfocus on the future and AI! Gizmodo picked 12 of those risks that didn’t pay off including one I wish had succeeded:—Google+:

Now we’re onto failed social network number…I’ve lost count. Google+ was undoubtedly the most ambitious attempt to take on Facebook. Its emergence led, in part, to the closure of Orkut (another failed social app), Buzz, and Google Friend Connect. Determined to finally break into the market, Google poured all of its resources into Google+ in the hopes of attracting Android, YouTube, and Chrome users to a single platform.

Google+ wanted to be the next Facebook, the one app you use to communicate with friends, post photos, and find news. It organized its main tabs into Profile, Hangouts, Photos, Circles, Streams (friend groups), and more. Streams were like Facebook news updates for Circles, which were groups of people organized into categories (like subreddits, in a way). There were also options for video group chats and group text messaging. Unfortunately, Google+ never scaled up like its competitors and was the subject of two significant data leaks prior to its shutdown.

Though it ultimately failed, the platform survived longer than Google’s previous efforts, vanishing in 2019 after a seven-year run. The only remnant of Google+ is Google Currents, an app for corporate communications that, you guessed it, is set to shut down next year.

I also wanted a Pixel Slate for a time, which is also on the list.

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