Why Google Wave Failed - 5 Reasons Why Wave Tanked: TP Tells It Like It Is

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.

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  1. This should have the title "How to word 'not enough users'" in 5 different ways.
    And then, celebs matter not at all for success. They use already successful systems to promote themselves, that's it. Would you say that World of Warcraft's huge success was because celebs played it, too? Nonsense.

  2. Right, celebs do not matter at all! If a system is great, easy and valuable, people use it.
    Most important thing to me is the redundancy of the service. It didn't fly because the overhead of adopting Wave was too high in comparison to the gained value. Assuming all my friends use Wave too, why should I use Wave instead of putting a couple of my friends CC when I want to involve them in a started E-mail conversation? It's much easier for an end user to stick to old communication methods.

  3. Google Wave revolutionised the way my small business operated, and was a key reason we use Google Apps for all email etc.

    Conversations happen in real-time irrespective of location. Loud members are quietened simply because they can't interrupt, and true group collaboration has emerged.

    All our staff use it without issue, no training will, is, or has ever been provided - it was natural.

    Multiple conversations could occur simultaneously, with each user offering their strengths on each topic as required.

    I'll be looking for an alternative to Google Wave without hesitation.

    Any recommendations?

  4. As above, our small business runs on google wave. I don't know of any other free technology that functions so well and easily for group collaboration and task management.

  5. what the hell is google wave anyway?

  6. A free option is SkyDrive – online document sharing and collaboration from Microsoft with 25 GB of storage. Access anywhere from a PC or smart phone, drag and drop to put your info in the cloud and be in control of can see what files or docs. This link should help: http://smb.ms/cX0JF7
    Jodi E.
    Microsoft SMB Outreach Team

  7. I am sorry to see it still born, it needed only a few tweaks like notification that something had been added to have greatly increased participation, and I also found that many aspects promised (like images and video) did not work, though were presumed for the final product.

    Add to that a very sophisticated product that most people did not have need for the entire span of what it did and the difficulties of getting others involved with you in it and of course the participation was less than one would expect.


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