Yesterday Google announced that the company would end development for Google Wave, basically putting an end to the product that we were told would change communication as we know it. It was positioned as email 2.0, a combination of Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and everything else that we love about the world of communication. Only – it would be magical. We could move conversations, bring people in and out – and if you ever had a chocolate craving, it would send you a Snickers bar right through your computer screen.
When Google Wave was launched, it lacked some very important details. Most importantly, it didn’t offer anything useful. There was not a specific use people could latch onto, and the the way it was rolled out did not allow people to have large groups of users they could easily communicate with. It also appeared so different that it came across as complex and unnatural to use.
Hopefully Google will learn from this mistake, especially as it continues to develop social products such as Google Buzz and GoogleMe, in their attempts to overtake Facebook.