In those years, Google killed Inbox,Google+,Google Reader,Google Code...

Updated on September 28, 2023 View Times: 471

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As we all know, Google is an amazing web company founded on September 4, 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Since its establishment, the business scope includes Internet search, cloud computing, advertising technology, etc., while developing and providing a large number of Internet-based products and services, its main profit comes from advertising services such as AdWords. This article takes stock of the services that Google once launched but are now closed. As one free product after another leaves us, let's remember the beauty of the past.

Google Video

Google released Google Video in 2005, which initially required users to upload videos using a desktop client rather than a web page, and the service was once seen as a competitor to YouTube. In October 2006, Google acquired YouTube, marking the end of Google Video. In May 2009, Google Video stopped receiving newly uploaded videos, but users could still watch them. At the same time, Google encourages users to transfer videos to YouTube.

Google Reader

Are die-hard users who are still using Google Reader in the past few days, have you received a prompt message from Google saying "This product will be closed on July 1, 2013, please make sure you have backed up your data"?

When Google announced in mid-March that it would shut down the reading product, it didn't give much explanation.

Richard Gingras, Google's senior vice president of news and social products, recently spoke to Wired, revealing some of Google's thoughts on the product and reading


Most of the failed endings give the emergence of Google+ the meaning of "doing your best". Even Facebook smelled the crisis. According to a 2016 book published by former Facebook employees, some Facebook executives believed that Google's foray into the social network posed a "threat" to Facebook. Zuckerberg said company-wide that employees should take the time to align Facebook features with Google. In 2011, Google released Google+, under the banner of competing with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in the social field. Google has added many "fancy" features to Google+, such as Circle (community concept), multiplayer text, video chat Hangout, photo function. This "hodgepodge" is not completely attractive to users. Google began to use its YouTube, Gmail login to channel traffic to Google+, and later users also need to "borrow" Google+ accounts when commenting on YouTube. In October 2013, Google+ had approximately 540 million monthly active users, of whom only 300 million were actually accessing core Google+ features. ComScore predicts that in January 2012, users spent 3.3 minutes on Google+ and 7.5 hours on Facebook, respectively, and New York Times described Google+ as a "ghost town."

Google Allo

Google, which has never given up on communication and social markets, has released a series of communication tools against Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and iMessage. In 2016, Google Allo and Duo were "sisters" together. Allo is an instant messaging tool based on phone numbers, not social media accounts or emails. Allo focuses on artificial intelligence and Google Assistant. Similar to Inbox, Allo has also added the Smart Reply function, using Google machine learning technology, Allo learns context and pictures, and recommends common reply methods. The built-in Google Assistant allows users to ask questions and get answers while chatting without interruption.

Anil Sabharwal, vice president of product at Google Allo, talked about the reason for closing Allo, saying that the performance of Allo's product did not meet Google's expectations in the end, and the team's choice to close Allo was not too surprising.

Google Glass

That's right, Glass Enterprise is dying again. Why say again? Because as early as 2015, the Google Glass project has died once, but in 2017 and 2022, Google was repeatedly "reborn" by Google. However, judging from Google's attitude towards this thankless project in recent years, Google Glass is really going to "enter the soil for safety":

Although you were not a qualified pair of glasses or even had lenses in the traditional sense, you still made an indelible contribution to the development of AR glasses. We won't miss you, but now you can finally spend the rest of your life with two hundred other projects that were shut down by Google. Farewell, Google Glass.

But then again, since Google launched the first generation of Google Glass as early as 2014 (then called Google Project Glass), then according to common sense, Google should have accumulated a lot of experience in the field of AR and MR, and such a product should be very popular in 2023 when the MR concept is "booming", why does Google have to start with Google Glass?

The reason is simple, Google Glass is not an AR device in the modern sense of the word.


It looks functionally similar to Gmail, but Inbox and Gmail serve a completely different audience. With an easy way to clean up your inbox and spend less time drafting simple replies, users who are more productive will tend to choose Inbox. Officially released in May 2015, Inbox now covers the web, Android and iOS. Inbox's key features include the same subject mail bundle feature, key information highlighting feature, email alert, assistance, and reminder later. In the recent update, Inbox has added functions such as unsending, smart reply "Smart Reply", integration with Google Calendar to schedule important events, and saving to the inbox "Save to Inbox" for later viewing.

In March 2016, Google said that 10% of mobile responses came from Inbox's Smart Reply feature. In September 2018, Google announced that it would discontinue the service this year. Google calls Inbox "a great place to experiment with new ideas" and notes that many of those ideas have migrated to Gmail, such as Smart Reply. Google closed Inbox in hopes of concentrating resources on Gmail's single email system in the future. Inbox has attracted a large number of loyal users because of its simple and efficient functions, such as a Twitter user named Tarek Jellali, who took a screenshot of Inbox's countdown to close and attached the text "I understand the truth, but I still think Inbox is better." On April 2, Google officially shut down the Inbox service.


iGoogle was released in May 2005. iGoogle is a portal service that Google once launched, but unlike other portals, iGoogle allows users to customize their own content. Users can personalize iGoogle's homepage, placing weather, schedule, information and other modules on the page.


In 2015, Google launched the Google Photos service, which provides unlimited storage space in principle, and is powerful enough to have a better affinity for mobile devices such as mobile phones, so Google Photo attracted 100 million monthly users in a short period of time. In contrast, Picasa has become a bit of a chicken.

Google Talk

For users, Google Photos may be more appealing than Picasa; But for Google itself, Google Photos is also more attractive than Picasa: through Google Photos' massive image data, it can optimize its image recognition technology, and it can also be used for product research and development at the same time, and can accurately recommend products to users in the future.

In fact, back in 2017, Google began migrating Talk users to Hangouts (now obsolete), but the service can still be accessed by third-party XMPP clients such as Pidgin and Gajim. After June 16, users who attempt to sign in to GChat will see a login error. If you still want to use Google services through Pidgin, then Pidgin recommends using this plugin instead of Google Talk.

Google Talk appeared in 2005 as a way for users to send instant messages directly from Gmail. It later expanded to voice and video calls and even allowed group chats. However, Google stopped the service in 2017 in favor of Hangouts.

Back in 2020, Google renamed Hangouts Chat to Google Chat, and then replaced Hangouts with Google Chat for workspace users earlier this year. Free Google account users can still use Hangouts online, but they'll also see a "Hangouts are disappearing" warning and a link to push them to Google Chat.

Google Code

As of August 24, 2016, read-only mode will be introduced, and projects hosted by developers on Google Code can still be downloaded through the Google Code Archive. Google Code lost out to the more popular GitHub, and the search giant advised developers to migrate their projects to GitHub. GitHub is becoming the development infrastructure for the software industry.


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