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October 14, 2011

Google Will Discontinue Google Buzz and Code Search

It's not surprising to hear that Google Buzz will be closed in a few weeks. Google now focuses on Google+, a product that learned from Buzz's slip-ups and became a lot more popular than Buzz. "We learned privacy is not a feature... it is foundational to the product. (...) But probably the best lesson we learned is about how to introduce a product. We started very slowly with Google+ -- in a limited Field Trial - in order to listen and learn and gather plenty of real-world feedback," says Google's Bradley Horowitz.

I'll miss Buzz because it was a lot more simple than Google+, it was integrated with Gmail and it allowed me to automatically share my favorite Google Reader posts. Buzz will continue to power the Google+ activity stream, but it will no longer be a Gmail feature.

It's not surprising to hear that Google will close Jaiku, a product acquired back in 2007 that was later open-sourced or that Google will disable iGoogle's social features powered by OpenSocial. They weren't popular because iGoogle didn't integrate with a social network.

What's surprising is to hear that Google will shut down Code Search, probably the best search engine for open source code. Code Search had a great API that was used in plug-ins for software like Eclipse. It was a brilliant way to find useful code and Google, the big proponent of open source, will close it.

"We aspire to build great products that really change people's lives, products they use two or three times a day. To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don't work on. It's why we recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products," explains Bradley Horowitz.

You can still use Buzz, Code Search and Jaiku until January 15 2012. "In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, and the former websites will be replaced by Google Product Search." I'm sure that these aren't the only Google services that will be closed: at some point orkut, Knol, Google Toolbar, Google Bookmarks will have to go away.


  1. Google Bookmarks?!

    Will there be a replacement for that then?

  2. I've already had to replace Google Toolbar with several Firefox plugins. For a while after Toolbar became technically incompatible with new versions of Firefox I was able to keep using it with the Compatibility Reporter plugin, but in the last few weeks it has started to lose functionality.

    I still use Google Bookmarks via the Gmarks plugin. If they phase out Google Bookmarks I'll have to find a new hosted bookmark replacement, such as Xmarks.

  3. Estimated unique monthly visitors for Knol: 5.524 million
    Knol is now Top 1000 Website based on unique monthly visitors.
    Congratulations to all Knol authors who dreamed it, contributed to it, promoted it and made it reality against great odds.

  4. YOu would use Chrome and synch your favorites to your account.

  5. It is all sad to hear. I used to like Buzz, it was such a convenient addition to Gmail and Reader.

    Everything I hear recently about Google makes me sad. Services are closing, UI getting worse. How unprotected we are when rely on things out of our own control!

  6. I agree with you 100% about Buzz. It was dead simple, and allowed for those of us who don't cotton to big networks of "friends" to share and carry on with a small group.

  7. Valery Tolkov .. i disagree im glad they are killing buzz and they should aslo kill orkut, and all the other dead products.. And i love the new UI , it's clean and it looks much better then the one they had 2000-2009

  8. Just curious, what makes you think Google Bookmarks's days are numbered? Do you think it's been made redundant by +1s, or maybe Chrome? It was never pushed in a big way, but it seems like it would still be useful for Search (personalization, social signals, etc.) as well as their whole cloud push (Android, Chromebooks, etc.) Would like to read your thoughts on it.

  9. google chrome was promoted as being the first browser to have browser sync built in, and bookmark sync. but then a lot of peoples google bookmarks were being duplicated and stored in weird places. all my bookmarks (thousands) were erased by google, who kept promoting browser sync which didn't even work. through the many months of that, google kept saying they are aware of the problem. they eventually made a workaround of some kind, to get spare bookmarks deleted. but i hated google for messing with people like that. they knew they were damaging bookmarks, and didn't give a crap who got hurt by it, which was thousands of people.

  10. Yes I too agree with most of the comments saying that Google is closing many of its services. Sad to hear but will look forward for Google + and how it emerges out....

  11. Well, this growing-cutting attitude it's becoming a consolidated tendency in Google policy. It's not the first time Google did this and now I think we can start foretelling they'll do it again and again.
    In some way this is embedded in the code-developer mind: you plan a project, write down the code, and then work and rework your classes and functions day by day, beautifying this, dropping that, merging those.
    Google appears like a big company with a kind of "collective" computer-engineer "mind".

    In some way this resembles the evolutionary mechanism: species procreate with a lot of variety and then natural selection kills the unfit... nevertheless, in the human world this is not so easy to digest, isn't it?
    Even if Google provides so many good services, this tendency of abruptly killing them can make customers to feel it to be in someway unreliable.

    A possibility to cope with this would be that of killing services only when they are really integrated in new ones. When google notebook (not chromebook! but was discontinued they didn't really replace it with some new functionality in docs as they stated. For having that they would have need to put some kind of clipping/save-to-docs function among Google chrome extensions, but they didn't...

    So the whole point about buzz and g-marks in my opinion is how much they will be able to integrate them in g+.
    If they provided a way to conveniently integrate g+ in gmail and to share our g-reader favorites in g+, well that would be a valuable replacement for buzz.
    If they saved all our g-marks in g+ and then gave us a way to safely sync them with bookmarks in chrome, this would be some kind of valuable replacement for g-marks and some part of g-toolbar.

    But they have to do that... if they don't do, I guess many people will just feel disappointed and not cared, and you cannot compete with Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and Nokia at the same time if you don't make your customers feeling continuously cared, even if your products are a lot better of those of your competitors! This because they have locked in their customers and the cost of breaking a lock in can be higher then the gain from getting a better product. So you need to add something to quality, the plus of google+ should manifest in some way concretely...
    otherwise people will just continue to use Facebook and Windows simply because all other people do that...

  12. Krystian said...

    Orkut is not a dead product within India and Brazil.

  13. I love Buzz but Google+ sounds great too: but if they only make Google+ available, doesn't it have an age restriction? As an under 18-year old, I find this extremely UNfair to those of us who enjoyed buzz. It had no restriction. And neither should Google+, or Google's going to lose ALOT of business.

  14. I agree that Google Buzz is going to be missed! ESPECIALLY if Google+ still has the age restriction when Buzz is closed. It makes me feel very irritated!

  15. Knol is having great momentum. Estimated monthly unique visitors are now 6.95 million per month. In two years some authors have increased their page views by six times. In the next three years, the increase will be much bigger. 30 times. may be possible. If such an increase occurs, Knol will have 300 million page views per month.

    What is driving Knol. Academic articles written by number of professors, doctors and professionals. It is an open platform but better known for its academic content and research papers.

  16. before this yahoo close yahoobuzz, now googlebuzz... what's next?? maybe Larry should keep few of the useful feature here...

  17. I wish buzz didn't shut down.... =(

  18. frankly speaking , after years of online, this is the first time i heard jaiku ... very weird.. maybe Google still have a long way on how to promote their stuff...

  19. Goonle Buzz has more chance to became a good product than Google +.
    They should rethink before do it.

  20. Very Agreed. Google needs to be more "smart" with how popular products are, and think about age restrictions. Many products do not need restrictions, but Google did it with Google+, it's very unfai if you think about the millions of people under the age 18 that used Google Buzz and such. Plus, Google should rethink a lot of the pruducts before retirng it, or else many customers will be lost.

  21. It'll be great if Google allows under 18 users to use Google +, maybe just with limited features?

    I don't have much an opinion about that... but closing Code Search??? TBH I think many are just not aware of that! I never heard about Code Search until today (and I do program). Shame on me? I don't think so...

  22. i dont want buzz to go away

  23. I don''t want it to go away but just so i can know when it ends when will be be gone? the date i mean.

  24. Please do not shutdown google code search.
    I use it as much as i use
    Please reconsider

  25. As an alternative to codesearch, try Symbol Hound.
    It's a web search (as opposed to source code search) that respects symbols/special characters. It should be useful for some of the same functions that we once turned to codesearch for.

    (full disclosure: I am a co-founder)

  26. Like it or not change happens for good or bad reasons and sometimes its to improve the ease of use, the company's profits, competitiveness, etc.
    Speaking out is the best alternative, and the greatest is those of us afforded with the freedom of speech. The one's who speak out on change bodes well with, "The power and numbers of free speech, and that in itself speaks volumes about acceptance or rejection of change."
    The other alternative is if you don't like it leave. You know the competition is out there to sign you up!
    I do prefer Google, so I applaud all who have posted comments and trust Google listens!

  27. I really dislike the new UI and found much slower and complicated to use. The first days I did belive its just because its new for me. But now I use it since 4 weeks and still feel same.

    The gray background is shit because its low contrast and much harder to read (i will try to fix it with a user script). Even the light Theme has still this ugly gray background. I need to use more mouse actions to access the same funcionality. Even more worst is this non-standard Scrollbar! wahhhhh!

    I hope some of this will be fixed with new Themes.