After claiming to revolutionize online collaboration and socialization, Google Wave entered with the hype of an apocalyptic cataclysm, and ended with the tranquility of a pond ripple.
Google Wave developers announced on Wednesday that the team would discontinue the all-in-one collaboration tool, though it would remain in service until the end of the year. Further, Google will provide tools for users to export their data before closing down the service. The code used to build the Wave service will remain open source for the tech savvy to continue to tweak.
With over one million users, Wave failed to become as popular as Google hoped. One of the chief complaints for its lack of popularity was the service's confusing interface.
"Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked," Senior Vice President Urs Holzle said in a blog post on the Google Wave website.
Debuting June 2009, Google touted Wave as the evolution in social communication. One of its main selling points was to allow people to collaborate in real time. While the intent seemed admirable, the service failed to live up to its claims, sending users to blogs and forums to vent their frustrations. Some complained about the service being difficult to use, while others pointed to Wave's seemingly never-ending appetite for system resources as being a cause for their discouragement.
With Wave closing down, does this mean Google is given up its hopes to compete with social networking giants Twitter and Facebook? With Google investing a reported $100 million in Zynga Games and its $182 million acquisition of social application developer, Slide -- not to mention rumors of Google's secret social networking platform called Google Me -- Wave may have been just the first ripple heralding something much larger in the near future.