Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Will Finally Shut Down Google Buzz

Google will finally shut down Google Buzz, its non-starter Gmail-based social network that paved the way for the more promising Google+.

“We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+,” Google VP Product Bradley Horowitz wrote today in an announcement post on the Google Blog.

Old Buzz content will continue to be viewable on users’ Google profiles, Horowitz said, and users can export their data before Buzz becomes unavailable. When does that happen? “In a few weeks.”

Google is also shutting down a couple more social products — Jaiku and iGoogle social features — as well as Code Search and a program that gives academic researchers API access to Google search results. And as of today the Google Labs site will no longer be available.

The moves come as part of a continued housecleaning effort under CEO Larry Page, which has included shutting down other social products like Slide and Aardvark, as well as many experimental projects.

In the larger social picture, Google is continuing to commit resources and focus to Google+, which now has 40 million registered users. “We are absolutely in a feature race,” Horowitz told us earlier this week.

Update: Horowitz elaborated in a personal Google+ post,

What did we learn from Buzz? Plenty. We learned privacy is not a feature… it is foundational to the product. And this awareness gave us the resolve to design privacy in from the very beginning, which led to Circles for sharing the right information with the right people, as well as transparency around which parts of your profile can be seen by whom. We also learned how compelling it is to have meaningful conversations with interesting people, which we’re happy to see happening all the time in Google+.


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle