After months of palpable neglect, Google today announced that it has decided to altogether stop investing precious time and money on Google Wave.
Quoting Google Blog,
"[...] Despite numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects."
Here are some reasons why I think this service tanked:
1. A lot of users found it hard to use.
I believe that for a service to succeed online (or offline, for that matter), it has to be idiot-proof or at least close to it. A majority of humans actually get turned off when faced with anything that's complicated (be it in a relationship, a gadget or what-have-you). Needless to say, as it is, there are internet users who won't get into or stay in Twitter or Facebook because they feel intimidated by the number of boxes that have to be filled in the registration process, the sheer number of available apps and occasional wall posts by people they don't even know, among other stuff.
2. The service is redundant.
Simply put, everything that you can do with Wave you can also perform using another service that's far easier to use.
3. Very few actually needed the service to go about their daily lives.
Wave merely collated all services that internet users can do online using other more popular sites and made them a tad harder to get into or perform. Even if you open Gmail, Facebook and Twitter and work on them all the same time, I believe the experience would still be leaps and bounds better than actually opening Wave, waiting for the apps to load, only to find noone there.
4. There was a lack of effective promotion.
It's not like Google really exhausted all efforts to endear the service to users in various territories. Aside from the launch buzz and a few introduction and demo clips, Google never really tried to promote Wave. I believe it would have helped a lot if Google got someone to be the face of Google Wave -- that celebrity who would actively use the service to interact with fans or promote events via the site. Now, the geeks probably won't recognize the importance of getting actual celebs to try out and join an online service -- moreso, a social networking site. But really, this is exactly the reason why Twitter and Facebook became hot.
5. There's no coolness factor in using it.
There's no big celeb telling the world that he or she is using Wave. Your friends don't even know what Wave is. You're the only one in your circle who has a Wave account. How's that cool?
How about you? Why do you think Wave failed? Please leave your comment below.