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Google to scrap more products

Among those set to end are social networking product Google Buzz and Jaiku.

October 15, 2011|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times

Google Inc. on Friday announced that it was scrapping another handful of products as the tech giant continues to trim down its product line and focus more on successes such as Android and Google+.

The most notable of the products getting nixed this time around might be Google Buzz, the company's failed attempt to release a social networking product in the vein of Twitter. Buzz is notorious for being a major privacy stumble for Google that, after a big backlash from users and privacy groups, resulted in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The agreement forced Google to follow stricter privacy rules.

The federal government, in the case of Buzz, said Google deceived users of Gmail, causing them to unwittingly sign up for Buzz and create a public list of people they emailed frequently that doubled as a friends list for Buzz.

After Google corrected its privacy gaffes and settled with the FTC, Buzz remained unpopular even after it was included as a small feature inside Google+ social networking products launched earlier this year.

"Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past," said Bradley Horowitz, Google's vice president of products, in a statement. "We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today's announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome."

Among other products being dumped is Jaiku, a product that lets users send updates to friends. It shut down on Jan. 15. Also set to be shuttered that day is the University Research Program for Google Search, which is available to a small number of academic researchers.

nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com

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