Google Kills Wave, Nation Amazed It Still Existed

Google announced yesterday that it was ending it’s collaboration tool Wave after a less than enthusiastic reception from the public:

Google Wave was one of Google’s most prominent new services. Now it is one of its most prominent flops.

On Wednesday, Google said that it would stop developing Wave as a standalone product and that the Web site could be shuttered by the end of the year. The technology will remain available if people want to develop new tools with it.

Despite having “numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked,” Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of operations at Google, wrote in a company blog post.

Wave, which was introduced to much hype at a conference for Google software developers in 2009, was conceived of as a collaboration tool housed in a Web browser. People could use the application to chat, edit documents, videos and photos, and play games together.

But Wave had so many different features that it confused many users, who never figured out how it worked. Wave also has several competitors, ranging from Salesforce’s Chatter to Jive.

I suspect that I was like many people out there. When Wave came out and I got my hands on an invite, I immediately signed up. Then, well, nothing. It wasn’t at all apparent what Wave was, or how it could help me, and I pretty much forgot about it until today.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Science & Technology,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    I don’t recall whether I bothered to sign up.  It just didn’t look like something I’d use and looked like a lot of trouble to learn.

  2. Boyd says:

    Like James, I never signed up for it because I couldn’t figure out what it was or how I would use it.

  3. Dave says:

    I think Wave suffered from some insider Google group think. The platform seemed really well suited for creative collaboration among software engineers, but little else. Unfortunately for the developers of Wave, not many people spend as much time developing software as they do.