Last May, Google debuted Spaces, another social media platform aimed at providing small groups of people a place to share content online. What was particularly great about Spaces was that users could post links, documents, and even YouTube videos during discussions. In theory, it was a capable product. Unfortunately, Spaces’ potential remained just that – in theory. Overall, the social network really took off.
In a recent announcement, the search giant has revealed that it would be killing off Spaces effective on April 17. This means that all of the content that users have posted on the platform since its debut, including pictures, documents, and videos, would be taken completely off the internet, according to The Verge. For all intents and purposes, it appears that Spaces is following the tracks of Wave, yet another potentially good Google product that ultimately failed.
Google would start the death of Spaces next month. Starting March 3, everything on the platform would be read-only, which means that users would not be able to post anything new anymore. Potential new members would also be blocked from creating a Spaces account.
The search giant has issued an official statement regarding the death of Spaces, stating that it was a tough decision to ultimately pull the plug on the social networking platform. Google further stated that while short-lived, Spaces was able to give the tech giant pertinent data that could, in turn, be utilized to improve and optimize the company’s other products and services. Among these, of course, is Allo, Google’s most intelligent messenger yet, and Hangouts, one of Google’s most used platforms.
While the demise of Spaces did not really come as a surprise, the platform in itself had a number of useful features that attracted its own fair share of users. Since it was focused on small group discussions, Spaces was able to offer its patrons a private, intimate, and fun way to converse and share information online. Users of the app, however, have stated that the demise of Spaces was seen from a mile away.
According to numerous users of the platform, Spaces was a flawed product to begin with. While it was useful for discussions, the absence of updates and further support from the tech giant all but encouraged a massive number of Spaces users to abandon the product. Others even stated that Spaces eventually became so flawed that the quality of pictures and videos being posted in conversations were downright unusable.
Others, on the other hand, looked at Spaces in a more optimistic light, stating that it was a great concept that Google was not fully dedicated to. Just like the similarly ill-fated Google Wave, some users have stated that Spaces was simply ahead of its time. At the end of the day, however, it appears that it was Google’s own lack of dedication that ultimately brought upon the downfall of Spaces. Had the search giant invested more time and effort in the platform, spaces would have met a very different fate.
Over the years, Google has managed to gain a reputation for releasing half-baked products that end up not getting any support and updates in the long run. Critics of the search giant have even gone so far as to accuse Google of killing off its own platforms, due to the tech firm’s seemingly unfocused approach. A perfect example of this is Hangouts, which is an excellent messaging app. Instead of bolstering the service, however, Google opted to release Allo and Duo instead, which are designed to perform tasks that Hangouts could already do.
From what could be seen in Google’s products, the tech giant definitely needs to change its strategy when it comes to the release of its products, especially on the messaging front. Unless Google could do this, even its best and most reliable applications might end up following Wave and Spaces to the grave.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]