Google is responsible for some of the most widely used software in the world including Android, Gmail, YouTube, Google Assistant, and of course Google Search.

But the company also has a habit of killing off popular products because they’re not popular enough for a company of Google’s size to keep them around, or because they don’t fit into Google’s long-term plans.

Over the years several virtual Google Graveyards have popped up to pay tribute to the fallen. Now Google actually built its own real-world graveyard at its Seattle campus.

To be fair, this is just a Halloween decoration that’ll likely be taken down next month. But Google Chrome developer Dana Fried snapped a photo to share with the world via Twitter.

The display leans heavily on Google’s discontinued social network projects including Orkut, Google Buzz, and Google+. There are also graves for Picasa, Google Reader, and Google Wave.

Some of those have contributed features to products that live on — Picasa arguably paved the way for Google Photos, for example.

But the graveyard also shows just a tiny fraction of the ghosts of Google past. Where are the graves for Inbox, Project Ara, iGoogle, Project Ara, or Songza?

Personally, I think I was hit hardest by the cancellation of Google Reader. But signing up for lifetime subscription to Feedly Pro (when that was still an option) has helped ease the pain. It’s also made me reluctant to become too reliant on new products that aren’t obviously monetized through subscriptions or advertising because I realize that everything is transient.

I was also a pretty regular Songza user, but its days were clearly limited after Google acquired it the startup in hopes of improving its own music streaming services. These days I mostly just put up with the ads in Spotify when I want to listen to music I don’t already own.

What about you? Any dead and buried Google services still hold a special place in your heart? And have you had any luck finding replacements?

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8 Comments

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  1. I like how this graveyard is only the free products that died. Never mind all the folks who bought things like Google TV that were abandoned fairly early in their lifespan. I remember Google Reader was the back end for the video podcast app that shipped with Google TV, so when they killed Reader they killed an app that was included with a paid product.

  2. Not sure whether spooky or just sad?

    It’s “just sad” when even Google also does this. I guess it’s an indicator they’re likely going to keep releasing products with little market research and inevitably killing them off.

    1. Google Reader: Never forgive!

      It also consequentially killed the Google Podcast App, but hey, that’s okay, podcasts were never going to amount to anything.

  3. Add Google Sheets API v3 to the pile. I’ve been notified that 2 of my projects based on Google Sheets API won’t work after 2020 marc. Joy.