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Orkut to Hangout: 8 services Google discontinued over the years

The bulk of users of Orkut, which is owned and operated by Google, were either from Brazil or India

Google has effectively ruled the internet for many years. The Mountain View-based internet behemoth has created tens of thousands of goods and services, revolutionising industries and spurring competition.

Google has a number of important products with a large user base. But that doesn’t necessarily imply that every product developed at Google is a success.

Here, we’ll look at some of the most well-known products and services Google has discontinued in recent years, especially in light of the fact that the company is currently winding down Stadia, its cloud gaming service, barely three years after its inception.

In an effort to take on Facebook and other social networks at the time, the internet giant Google created a new social media network named Google+ in 2011. At first, Google+ was an invite-only service with a complicated system of circles, communities, etc. As a result of everyone having a Gmail account having a Google Plus profile, the social network did succeed in gaining users, but it never developed into the Facebook rival that Google had hoped for.

Although it had been thoroughly integrated with other Google products and received a number of helpful features, it was discontinued in 2019 due to minimal user involvement and worries about security issues. There was a significant data breach, and more than 500,000 accounts were exposed.

Google Buzz
Google created several social networks in addition to Google Plus. You must be familiar with Google’s approach to fusing social networking with messaging and a micro-blogging platform known as Google Buzz. Introduce in 2010 Google Buzz was discontinued in December 2011 because of privacy concerns.

When it first debuted in 2004, Orkut was among the most well-known social networking platforms. The bulk of users of Orkut, which is owned and operated by Google, were either from Brazil or India. However, 10 years later, in 2014, Google declared that Orkut would be discontinued in favour of Google+. Although consumers could not sign up for the service, they could get their data from Google Takeout.

When iGoogle was introduced in 2005, dial-up connections were still a reality. Users could personalise iGoogle’s Google Search homepage to suit their preferences. More than 20% of Google Search users chose to visit iGoogle in 2008 rather than the standard Google Search page. This demonstrated the enormous popularity of iGoogle. Due to the “unexpected growth of online and mobile apps and the erosion of the need for the site,” the customized homepage was eliminated in 2012.

Google Reader
Google Reader created by the Google Labs team was linked to millions of people worldwide. Google Reader has been one of the top ways to provide the most recent news and information to users worldwide ever since it started in 2005. But like some other Google products, it was discontinued in 2013, with a justification that the service was only being used by a small number of people.

Inbox by Gmail
Inbox by Gmail, which was available on the web, Android, and iOS, was one of the best mail programmes ever created. The email service, which was introduced in late 2014, allowed users to concentrate on productivity by neatly grouping emails with related themes together. Google discovered that, despite being far from flawless, Inbox by Gmail’s Smart Reply function accounted for more than 10% of all Gmail replies in 2016. Inbox by Gmail was discontinued by Google in 2019 despite a positive review.

Google Hangout
In 2013, Hangouts changed from being a Google+ component to a standalone product. Then, Google’s programmers started incorporating attributes from other services like Google Voice and Google+ messaging. Four years later, Google started working on new products known as Google Meet and Google Chat for more productivity. Since then, the company has been migrating Hangouts users to other services and announced it will be officially shutting down Hangouts in November 2022.

Google Spaces
Google Spaces was initially introduced as a rival to the productivity-focused platform Slack and was a mobile app that allowed users to participate in group chats. People would create locations where they invited other people, much like Twitter Spaces. Even more, Google had connected Spaces with other Google services like Search, YouTube, Chrome, file sharing, and others that could be accessed from within the programme. In less than a year after its launch, Google terminated the service, stating that users would only be allowed to download and view the places they had already created.

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