Google’s constant product shutdowns are damaging its brand name

Google’s constant product shutdowns are damaging its brand name

Please just stop closing things–.

Google’s product assistance has actually become a joke, and the business must be really worried.


An artist's rendering of Google's current reputation.

An artist’s making of Google’s existing credibility.

Aurich Lawson


It’s only April, and 2019 has actually already been a definitely ruthless year for Google’s item portfolio. The Chromecast Audio was discontinued January 11 YouTube annotations were eliminated and deleted January15 Google Fiber loaded up and left a Fiber city on February 8. Android Things dropped IoT assistance on February13 Google’s laptop computer and tablet division was apparently slashed on March12 Google Allo closed down on March13 The “Spotlight Stories” VR studio closed its doors on March14 The URL shortener was cut off from brand-new users on March30 Gmail’s IFTTT assistance quit working March 31.

And today, April 2, we’re having a Google Funeral service double-header: both Google ( for customers) and Google Inbox are being laid to rest. Later on this year, Google Hangouts “ Classic” will start to unwind, and somehow also scheduled for 2019 is Google Music’s ” migration” to YouTube Music, with the Google service being put on death row sometime afterward.

We are 91 days into the year, and so far, Google is acquiring an unprecedented body count. If we just take the official shutdown dates that have currently happened in 2019, a Google-branded product, feature, or service has died, typically, about every 9 days.

Some of these product shutdowns have transition strategies, and some of them (like Google ) represent Google completely abandoning a user base. The specifics aren’t vital, though. What matters is that every among these actions has an unfavorable repercussion for Google’s brand name, and the near-constant stream of shutdown statements makes Google appear more unstable and untrustworthy than it has actually ever been. Yes, there was the one time Google eliminated Google Wave nine years ago or when it took Google Reader away six years earlier, however things were never this bad.

For a while there has been a subset of people concerned about Google’s personal privacy and antitrust issues, however now Google is eroding trust that its existing consumers have in the company. That’s a huge issue. Google has considerably damaged its brand name over the last couple of months, and I’m not even sure the company recognizes it.

Google items need trust and investment

The latest batch of dead and dying Google apps.

The current batch of dead and passing away Google apps.

Google is a platform company. Be it cloud compute, app and extension ecosystems, developer APIs, advertising services, operating-system pre-installs, or the storage of user information, Google constantly requests for investment from consumers, developers, and partner companies in the things it builds. Any effective platform will quite much require trust and buy-in from these groups. These groups require to feel the platform they buy today will exist tomorrow, or they’ll carry on to something else. If any of these groups loses faith in Google, it could have devastating effects for the business.

Consumers wish to know the pictures, videos, and e-mails they submit to Google will remain. If you buy a Chromecast or Google Home, you need to know the servers and ecosystems they depend upon will continue to work, so they do not become fancy paperweights tomorrow. If you put in the time to move yourself, your friends, and your household to a brand-new messaging service, you need to understand it will not be shut down two years later on. If you begrudgingly sign up with a brand-new social media that was forced down your throat, you need to know it will not leak your data all over, closed down, and erase all your posts a few years later on.

There are also enterprise customers, who, above all, like safe bets with recognized business. The old adage of ” Nobody ever got fired for purchasing IBM” is partially a recommendation for the business’s desire for a steady, steady, reliable tech partner. Google is trying to tackle this same market with its paid G Suite program, however the most it can do in terms of stability is post a calendar detailing the rollercoaster of consumer-oriented modifications coming down the pipeline. There’s a slower “Scheduled release track” that delays the rollout of some features, but things like a complete revamp of Gmail ultimately all still arrive. G Suite has a ” Core Services” list suggested to reveal confidence in certain products remaining, however a few of the entries there, like Hangouts and Google Talk, still get closed down.

Developers gamble on a platform’s stability even more than consumers do. Customers may trust a service with their data or invest cash on hardware, but designers can spend months developing an app for a platform. They require to read paperwork, established SDKs, determine how APIs work, perhaps pay developer startup fees, and maybe even learn a brand-new language. They won’t do any of this if they don’t have faith in the long-term stability of the platform.

Designers can actually develop their items around paid-access Google APIs like the Google Maps API, and when Google does things like raise the cost of the Maps API by 14 x for some usage cases, it is incredibly disruptive for those organisations and hazardous to Google’s brand name. When apps like Reddit clients are flagged by Google Play “ every other month” for the crime of showing user-generated material and when it’s difficult to talk to a human at Google about anything, developers are less most likely to buy your schizophrenic ecosystem.

Hardware makers and other company partners need to be able to rely on a business, too. Google constantly asks hardware designers to construct devices reliant on its services. These are things like Google Assistant-compatible speakers and smart screens, devices with Chromecast built in, and Android and Chrome OS devices. Manufacturers require to understand a particular product or feature they are preparing to incorporate will be around for years, s ince they need to both devote to a potentially multi-year preparation and development cycle, and then it needs to make it through long enough for clients to be supported for a few years. Seeing Android Things chop off a major segment of its market 9 months after launch would certainly make me anxious to develop anything based upon Android Things. Think of the danger Volvo is taking by integrating the brand-new Android Car OS into its upcoming Polestar 2: lorries require around 5 years of development time and still need to be supported for a number of years after launch.

Google’s shutdowns cast a shadow over the entire company

With numerous shutdowns, tracking Google’s bodycount has ended up being a competitive industry on the Internet. Over on Wikipedia, the list of discontinued Google items and services is beginning to approach the size of the active items and services listed. There are whole sites devoted to discontinued Google items, like, The Google Cemetery, and

I think we’re seeing a great deal of the effects of Google’s damaged brand in the current Google Stadia launch. A video game streaming platform from among the world’s largest Internet companies ought to be grounds for enjoyment, but rather, the baggage of the Google brand name has individuals asking if they can rely on the service to stay running.

In addition to the limitless memes and jokes you’ll see in every related comments area, you’re beginning to see Google uncertainty in mainstream reporting, too. Over at The Guardian, this line makes the pullquote: “A potentially sticky fact about Google is that the business does have a habit of losing interest in its less successful projects.” IGN has a whole area of a report questioning “Google’s Commitment.” From a Digital Foundry video: “Google has this reputation for ceasing services that are often good, out of no place.” One of SlashGear’s ” Stadia questions that need responses” is “Can I trust you, Google?”

Google's Phil Harrison talks about the new Google Stadia controller.

Google’s Phil Harrison speaks about the brand-new Google Stadia controller.

One of my favorite examples came from a Kotaku interview with Phil Harrison, the leader of Google Stadia. In an audio interview, the website lays this whopper of a question on him: “Among the beliefs we saw in our comments section a lot is that Google has a long history of starting projects and then abandoning them. There’s a worry, I think, from users who might believe that Google Stadia is a cool platform, however if I’m linking to this and spending loan on this platform, how do I understand for sure that Google is still persevering for 2, three, five years? How can you men make a commitment that Google will be sticking to this in a way that they haven’t stuck with Google , or Google Hangouts, or Google Fiber, Reader, or all the other things Google has deserted over the years?”

Yikes Kotaku is absolutely warranted to ask a concern like this, but to have among your new executives deal with questions of “When will your new item closed down?” need to be humiliating for Google.

Harrison’s response to this concern began with a remarkably truthful recognition: “ I comprehend the concern.” Harrison, apparently, gets it He seemingly comprehends that it’s difficult to trust Google after numerous item shutdowns, and he understands the Stadia team now deals with an uphill battle. For the record, Harrison went on to point out Google’s substantial investment in the task, stating Stadia was ” Not a trivial product” and was a “considerable cross-company effort.” (Likewise for the record: you might say all the same aspects of Google a few years ago, when actually every Google staff member was paid to work on it. Now it is dead.)

Harrison and the rest of the Stadia team had absolutely nothing to do with the closing of Google Inbox, or the shutdown of Hangouts, or the removal of any other popular Google product. They are still forced to handle the effects of being connected with “Google the Product Killer,” though. If Stadia was an Amazon product, I don’t believe we would see these concerns of when it would shut down. Microsoft’s video game streaming service, Task xCloud, just faces questions about expediency and appeal, not if Microsoft will get bored in 2 years and discard the project.

Noting image by Aurich Lawson

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