Google's new social networking service, Google Wave, launched last year to a huge fanfare and and equally huge controversy over privacy. Many users complained that anyone befriending you on the service could then see personal contact details of everyone else of your address book.
The service was based around real-time character-by character chat typing, drag-and-drop file sharing and had a lot of potential. Sadly it was limited only to GMail users and didn't receive such a brilliant reception.
Now Google is pulling the plug before the service even gets out of beta. They've said they will keep the service going until the end of 2010 but then it's all over.
One of the biggest problems with Wave I felt personally was that is was clearly intended as mass-user service but the limitations of the beta, which was invitation only, just never allowed this to happen. The service just looked like a blank page.
Either way it looks as though Google's attempt to challenge the mighty Facebook has failed, at least for now. We can be certain that Google's not finished yet, neither is Microsoft which is constantly updating and expanding it's Live service.
But now we wave a fond goodbye to Google Wave, bon voyage.
Google will shut down Wave in two stages. The first will turn the site read-only on January 31, 2012. While contents remain accessible for the time being, no new contents can be added to Wave after that date.
Users have options to export their date as PDF documents using built-in functionality. There is also the Walkaround project that allows you to import your waves.
The second stage begins and ends on April 30, 2012. At that day, Wave is shut down by google which means that data won't be accessible anymore after that point.
Additional information about the status are provided by Google on this support page.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.