Five Other Notable Apps/Companies Google Has Shut Down Over the Years


RIP, Google Reader. In case you haven’t heard the news, Google is shutting down Google Reader. Google does that from time to time: buys or builds a service, only to kill it off.


So, just for the record, Google Reader is just the latest victim of Google genocide. That’s what sometimes happens when your company is acquired or acqu-hired by Google: the founders do well, but the end users can get screwgled. Google has shut down a number of companies/features they’ve offered (70 and counting). Still, a few million here, a couple hundred million there – you’d think that sooner or later, it might add up to real money…

Image representing Google Video as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

Google Video – TOD: April, 2011

Remember this YouTube rival? Of course not. It was pretty much DOA and the company ceased to allow users to upload new videos in May 2009. As for YouTube: alive and well and owned by the Mothership since 2006.

Dodgeball – TOD: 2009

Dodgeball was a location-based social networking software that Google bought in 2005. It might have gone completely unnoticed, save for the fact that, once he exited the company, its founder, Dennis Crowley, was very public about his frustrations over working with/at Google. Once his non-complete expired, he went on to launch Foursquare.

Image representing Jaiku as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Jaiku – TOD: 2007

There was a time when this microblogging site was a Twitter competitor. After the GOOG acquisition, it was closed to new users, as they decided to focus on innovation. “Current Jaiku users can still use the service normally, and new folks can sign up for an invitation to the service when we’re ready to expand. We plan to use the ideas and technology behind Jaiku to make compelling and useful products,” or so stated the Google blog post. Google doesn’t always win the hearts and minds, and once they’d bought the service, it was pretty much over.

Image representing Slide as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Slide – TOD: 2011

Google dropped over $200 mil on this social gaming company, allowed it to run, a la youtube, as a separate entity. But rumor had it that they bought it for the talent, to help build Google+. And down the slippery slope it did slide.

Image representing Aardvark as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Aardvark – TOD: 2011

Founded in 2007, Aardvark was a Q & A service that Google bought for $50 million and shut down a year later, moving the company’s functionality into, yup, once again: Google+.

About the author: Bonnie Halper

Bonnie Halper curates the StartupOneStop.com newsletter, which focuses on startups and entrepreneurs, and is currently being read in 50+ countries around the world.

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