Google is in a vicious build-retire cycle
Google created or bought several long-standing successful products since the company started out as a startup to revolutionize search.
The most successful products are probably Google Search, Gmail, Chrome, Maps, Adsense/Adwords, Android and YouTube.
Lately however, the company has been in a vicious cycle of creating or buying new products or services, and retiring them later on.
One prime example of this is Google+. Once hailed as Google's answer to social media giant Facebook, it is pushed out of products it once was forcefully integrated in, and slowly withering away.
Google+ coincidentally replaced the company's Google Buzz and Google Friend Connect products, and maybe also Orkut.
One side product of Google+ was Hangouts, and a part of that was Google+ Hangouts on Air. Google announced quietly that it will retire Hangouts on Air on September 12. The company wants broadcasters and users to switch over to YouTube Live instead.
Some of the apps that Hangouts on Air broadcasters could make use of, Q&A, Showcase and Applause, are not available on YouTube Live.
Things get crowded on the messaging front as well. Google announced back in May that it would launch two new mobile-only messaging applications.
Duo is a video chat app tied to the device's phone number, and the core feature of it is that it is dead easy to use, and that you see a preview of the caller on the screen.
Allo on the other hand is a messaging app with an assistant. It ties to the phone number too, and the one thing that sets it apart from myriads of other messaging apps is the assistant.
Google wants the assistant to learn from your chats, and base suggestions on that. The assistant supports the usual "digital assistant" things like answering your questions or booking a restaurant table for you.
Allo and Duo are two messaging services that are launched besides Google's Hangouts and Messenger services.
Google Spaces is another product in the messaging vertical. It is "designed to make group sharing easier".
Google does not mind pushing out new products, and retiring products that don't fit the company's strategy anymore.
If you check out Wikipedia's list of discontinued products, you find several listed there that any other company would be glad to continue. One does not have to go back to the discontinuation of Google Reader for that. The company retired Google Code and Picasa in 2016 for instance.
It seems likely that Google will continue to create and buy products, and cancel some of them months or years later.
Even popular services such as Gmail don't appear to be safe, as Google launched Inbox some time ago that provides similar functionality, and might as well replace Gmail with it at one point in time.
I stopped jumping on the Google hype-wagon a long time ago because of the company's tendency to retire products.
I'm not saying that Google is not creating or acquiring great products. It is clear however that Google has a tendency of trying things, and discontinuing them.
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