Google has decided to end support for Google Wave, its real-time collaboration and communication tool, because of a lack of users.
Google Wave was launched last year amidst much hype, although it was only initially available to a small, limited number of users. The company acknowledged that despite huge internal excitement over the possibilities offered by Wave, users did not display the same enthusiasm.
Google Wave had, or still has, a lot of interesting features, maybe too many in some respects. I remember the initial rush to sign in and get started, the anticipation of some revolutionary new way of communicating to the world at large.
Being a very limited number of people who were able to try Google Wave in the beginning, around 100,000 people worldwide I believe, it wasn’t going to be easy to ‘get going’ as it were. Initial conversations – with complete strangers – tended to be:
Where are you?
Hello, I’m in Tokyo
Is that it?
What do we do now?
I don’t know
Here’s a picture of my home town
Nice. How did you do that?
I’ll try putting a map on here so we can plot our locations
Where’s my picture gone?
Sorry! Can’t seem to get it back either. Don’t really know what I’m doing.
Is there a manual?
Things did get better after the initial uncertainty of exactly how to use this new tool but it never really captured the imagination of the public. There’s a lot to be said for ‘keeping it simple’.