Next Monday Google is set to axe Google Reader, in spite of the general public’s outcry over the loss of its most popularly-used RSS reader. To date, Google Reader is the most popular tool to fall victim to Google’s proverbial guillotine, but it’s by no way the first. Google has a bit of a reputation for introducing various new products, and then ditching the less popular ones.
Now Google Reader is joining the ranks of Google Labs, Google Buzz and Google Wave. Which sounds like our cue to take a trip down memory lane:
This customisable homepage which all kinds of gadgets and web feeds will be retired from November 1st 2013. Google blames an “erosion of the need” for iGoogle.
Remember good old Google Talk? It featured instant messaging and voice communication, and has only recently been completely replaced by a bigger and better machine that most of us will now be familiar with; Google Hangouts. RIP May 15, 2012.
Another tool which was phased out at the start of this year, Google Health allowed users to store all their relevant health information in one place. Handy… or was. This was retired on January 1st, 2013.
Knol was Google’s version of Wikipedia, but it just never really took off. Finally gave up the ghost on October 1st 2013.
An online photo editor which used to belong to Flickr, before it was acquired by Google, and later discontinued on April 19th, 2012.
One of Google’s early social network integration experiments that again, didn’t quite work out as intended. RIP December 15, 2011.
A social search service, Aardvark was sort of like Google’s answer to… well, Yahoo! Answers. Only with live chat. It was discontinued in September 2011.
A playground where users could test out their latest products and ideas. RIP July 2011.
Aimed mostly at collaboration, Wave integrated social networking with email, IM and wikis to enable multiple editing and communication. It never got past the development stage and ceased in August 2010.
And there’s plenty more where those have ended up, on Google’s almighty scrapheap. What could be next?