As a rather eventful year draws to a close, join us as we take a look at 5 services Google killed in 2020.
5 Services Google Killed in 2020
In 2011, Google launched a new social networking service called Google Plus. It was initially thought that it could be a network that would be able to take on Facebook, but like many other websites, it failed to move out from under the social networking giant’s shadow.
After many years of “low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumer’s expectations”, Google finally decided to close the doors on Google Plus once and for all.
In 2018, Google Plus was affected by a major data leak that saw over 500,000 user’s information breached, and Google failed to disclose the issue for six months, which is completely unacceptable. Even without this scandal, it was likely to have been on its last legs anyway, with many users being completely unaware that they had even inadvertently signed up for a Google Plus account, or what it even was. If you have a Google Plus account, any media you have stored on it, be it photos or videos, will be deleted along with the closure of the service. Google Plus is likely to be one social networking site that will not be missed by many.
Google One Today
Back in January 2020, Google announced that it would be shutting down its Google One Today service, and gave users just one week’s notice to do anything they needed to go before the platform was closed down for good.
Google One Today was an app-based donation system, therefore it is fairly likely that you would never have heard of it and will not have been affected by the news whatsoever. It also means Google One Today is another service that will not be missed by many.
Google One Today was designed to make it easy for users to support non-profit causes, providing total transparency as to how your donations were being used, and even going so far as to show pictures and videos of the benefits that came from your donations. Although Google One was a nice idea, it was perhaps poorly marketed and like Google Plus, suffered from low user numbers.
Google Cloud Print
Google Cloud Print will be no more as of December 31st, 2020. Unlike the previous two entries on this list, Google Cloud Print is actually fairly widely used and is a decent cloud-based printing alternative. The closure was recently announced in the form of a short pop-up message to anyone that uses its services.
“Cloud Print, Google’s cloud-based printing solution that has been in beta since 2010, will no longer be supported as of December 31, 2020. Beginning January 1, 2021, devices across all operating systems will no longer be able to print using Google Cloud Print. We recommend that over the next year, you identify an alternative solution and execute a migration strategy.”
As many had likely forgotten, Google Cloud Print has technically been in beta since its release back in 2010, and since then Google Chrome OS has seen vast improvements to native printing solutions. It’s debatable as to whether it will be missed, but it is likely it will be mourned by some.
Google Fiber TV
Another service Google has effectively killed off in 2020 is Google Fiber TV. New users are no longer able to sign up to the service as Google closes it off to anyone that does not already use it, in order to focus on its internet services. Is it possible that Google spread itself too thin with all of these service closures we have seen in 2020? Possibly, and perhaps they realized it too.
Google’s official statement reads as follows: “As of today, Google Fiber will no longer offer a linear TV product to new customers. For our current TV customers, we know you have come to rely on Google Fiber TV and we will continue to provide you with traditional TV service,” the company said in a blog post. “And we’ll be happy to help everyone explore other options to get their favorite programming the way TV is watched now — over the Internet, with the virtually unlimited choice and control online viewing provides.”
Google’s view on the matter appears to be that there just isn’t enough demand for traditional TV services anymore, with so many streaming services now available for the public to choose from, and we think that they may be right about this. Will Google Fiber TV be missed? Probably not.
The last service to face the wrath of the Google firing squad this year is Google Shoelace. Google shoelace is yet another social media app you have likely never even heard of. It could be due to poor marketing, or just a general lack of interest, but like many of its other products that are closing their doors this year, Google Shoelace just never took off.
“Like all projects within Area 120, Shoelace was an experiment. We’re proud of the work that we accomplished and the community that we built, but given the current health crisis, we don’t feel that now is the right time to invest further in this project.”
Google Shoelace was the shortest running service out of all of those on this list, being launched back in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately for them, a global pandemic broke out later that same year and 2020 saw millions of people stuck in their homes for months in order to try and reduce the risks of infection. Because of this, people’s priorities were on other things, not on checking out the latest social media apps that allow users to set up locations to meet through simple to use mapping technology.
Will it be missed? Likely not. Most people had never, and will never, have heard of it.