“Who wants a Google Wave invitation?” is what I saw sprawled across the facebook status updates and twitter feeds for months when the collaborative communication tool first came out last May. Having no idea what exactly Google Wave was, I reluctantly accepted a friend’s invitation and proceeded to view the introductory video. Still confused about its practical application to me, as a project coordinator at a high-end Orange County Web Design studio, I simply forgot about it as it sat dormant in my Google account.
Wednesday, August 4th, I came to learn that I had become one of the users who had not caught on to the Google Wave trend the way the Internet giant had hoped. In the Official Google Blog, Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President of Operations stated, “But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked.” While the message system itself will now become obsolete by the end of the year, the central parts of its code will still be utilized for various other applications. This includes the drag-and-drop feature and character-by character live typing that are currently available to the public as open source as well as blog publishing, wiki collaboration, richly formatted text etc. Think of an AIM chat room on steroids.
Google Wave initially generated a lot of buzz while it was still in its “developer preview,” labeled the “Facebook killer” in thousands of articles and blog discussions. Unfortunately, for Google, Facebook is still thriving at the height of its social media success. Maybe this failed innovation will mark a bittersweet precursor that will accentuate the popularity of Google’s next big project. Our California website design firm can’t wait to see!