Just a year after its initial release, Google has announced its plans to discontinue development on Google Wave. Looks like it didn’t really catch on after all, and we will now be “waving” goodbye to it (had to do it, sorry). Why didn’t it gain popularity as expected?
With the simplicity of Twitter and other online media tools, Wave just seemed too complicated for the average user to want to bother digging into it. Of course, Wave had so many bigger plans and would manage a lot more than a site like Twitter, but perhaps that’s the problem. The site just had too much going on, and not only that, you had to be invited to even try the software out. I myself was lucky enough to have the opportunity and it seemed really well put together, however there was not much value being that no-one else I knew had an invitation and I wasn’t going to do much collaboration with myself! I think this was the major pitfall to the software – impossible to gain traction if there is a restriction on users being able to sign on and try it out.
Wave strived for a place in Google’s growing list of tools and gadgets – and maybe it will one day. But for now, Google is breaking down some of the core logic and reusing it in simpler, more task-specific applications. And I think that could be a good way to go; if it’s broken down into smaller parts it’s easier to use. Well, Google, you’re not perfect but you still build some pretty neat stuff. Thanks for trying new ideas!