Since the launch of Google+ in June, the new social network has grown rapidly to over 40 million users. On Friday, Google announced that they would be closing down Google Buzz in an effort to fully concentrate on the further development and growth of Google+.
Bradley Horowitz, the vice president of product at Google, said the following in a blog post:
“Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.”
Google Buzz, which is a micro-blogging and messaging social network, originally launched in February of 2010. Almost immediately following Buzz’s launch, privacy concerns became a huge problem. The default settings initially allowed Buzz to automatically create a list of people users followed on the basis of who they chatted and emailed with the most. Unfortunately, that list was then made publicly available to people who viewed a user’s profile.
Although Google updated the privacy settings and default options within two days of rolling out Google Buzz, the privacy issues damaged the product’s reputation, made it difficult for users to trust Google, and severely limited Buzz’s future growth. The privacy problems eventually led to a Federal Trade Commission investigation and the mandate of annual privacy audits for Google.
Once Google Buzz is shut down, users will no longer be able to create new posts. However, Buzz users will be able to view existing content within their Google Profile or download content using Google Takeout.
In addition to closing down Google Buzz and its API, as part of the fall sweep, Google will also shut down code search, Jaiku, iGoogle’s social features, and the university research program.