Reasons why Google Wave Failed

google-wave-failGoogle Wave started out with a bang. An Internet giant like google doesn’t need to market its product, because a lot of influential internet users are willing to do that for them and that too for free.  The reason behind this is that Google has made a reputation of a company which makes products and services that revolutionize the way we use internet. Google wanted to enter the booming social media market and wanted to compete with social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. The concept behind google wave was to start a social form of gmail, where a group of people can communicate with each other in a single thread and can post videos, images and files in real time. It was the amalgamation of chat, file sharing and social networking.

Months before being launched, articles from sites like Techcrunch and Mashable gave us a sneak peek to the new application and showed us what the application had in store for us. It was such an interesting concept that twitter was flooded with tweets minutes after the news was out.

Google wave was launched with a lot of speculation. It started out as an invite only application and the first users who got an invitation were the ones using Sandbox. In the first few weeks, everybody was dying to get their hands on the new product by google. Many weeks have gone by and google wave has opened their gates to everyone. But as the mystery of the google wave has unfolded, it has turned out that google wave has failed expectations. The reasons why google wave failed are manifold, but I would like to stress on the major ones:

  1. Too much conversation: In google wave any user can comment on any part of the thread. The problem occurs when multiple users comment at the same time. And think of a situation when you receive 5 chats in one second. For a normal human being, it is a really difficult task to follow these many conversations in a very short span of time. And in the end it results into a heap of chats which resembles more like a trash bin. Yes, one can use the playback feature to replay chats, but it would be an arduous task to read and follow all these waves.
  2. Prone to excessive spamming: If one has another person’s google wave id, he/she can easily add the other user and can wave at him. This feature makes it a haven for spammers. As one can wave at anybody, waving can become a spammer’s paradise. Being constantly waved by spammers makes the google wave experience even worse.
  3. Real Time Chatting: A unique feature of google wave is to chat in real time. In this real time chat one user can see what other user is typing at that particular moment. I actually don’t get why this feature is required. It has no usefulness, but yes it just increases the chances of getting noticed for making spelling mistakes.
  4. Applications affect Load time: Gmail is known for its light design and fast loading capability. But google wave works the other way around. The ability to add applications and extensions to google wave, instead of being a useful feature, acts as a hindrance in the overall loading of the waves.

In my opinion, a product sells because of features and usefulness. Though google wave had some amazing features, but it was not very useful.  And even though google launched this amazing product, but it failed miserably.

How was your experience with google wave ?

  • Google Wave is more like a collaboration tool, works better on group discussions or projects; for most people it’s more like a chatroom really. For me it’s slightly too much noise there for networking purposes, too many distractions.

    I prefer Google Buzz although both are quite different. Still under observation so we’ll see how far the buzz can go. 🙂

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..6 Status Updates Scheduler for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn =-.

    • Buzz is more like friendfeed, but the plus point is that it is integrated in the mail. Google Buzz is a lot cleaner that Googgle Wave. And the conversation is not as messy as Google Wave.

  • Yeah a while ago, Google Wave was one of the hot topics that everyone was talking about. Especially when it was opened to registration by invites only. I see almost everywhere (forums, blogs etc.) was posted to invite friends. Some bloggers even used that as an offer of contest. People were taking advantage of it LOL. Well, that could be a word of mouth promotion strategy used by Google too.

    While most internet marketers and bloggers think that it may not be a good social tool for them, I think it’s good for company, corporation or group discussion on some projects or works.
    .-= Kevin Tan´s last blog ..3 Important Key Factors to Consider Before Starting Your Blog =-.

    • I too have used google wave invitations for promotion and I must say it has worked.

      But in my opinion, even for a company or corporation twitter is a better place to be, with all the feature rich business apps like hootsuite and cotweet available

  • I never had anyone to collaborate with on Wave. I think one of the problems was with the invites. Why did they make it invitation only. Most people never bothered to sign up. I think Buzz might fail too. I just heard about a security issue, and more people will find problems with it I’m sure.
    Thanks for the information.
    .-= ileane´s last blog ..Plugin to WordPress at Blogging Wire! =-.

    • Ileane,

      Google Buzz made some changes to the feedback they received from users. They also explained their so called security issues and how to configure your settings to lock down the security issues. Check the comment luv and follow the links on my site on how to lock down your contacts.
      .-= element321´s last blog ..Google Announces Improvements and Response to Feedback =-.

      • I think Google buzz will go a long way and that is because it is integrated in gmail and it is not invite only. This helps network spread easily.

    • Ehtesham

      GoogleWave, total failure for me and most of the ppl i know. I think i have reasonably big online social circle, with very keen ppl, looking for these new technolgies and adopting them asap.. but they all dumped it. so thumbs down from my side..

      About buzz, one thing i didn’t like about it is privacy. i dont have the time to really dig-in and understand how the security works there, but the thing i didn’t like at all was how my pictures on picasa – which i only shared with one of my contacts – were visible on buzz and everyone on my list was able to see those.. i think they shoud atleast prompt you about this before actually doing it….


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  • I only have 3 friends on google wave. One of the downfall is the fact that you have to get invited first before you can use it made it less available to everyone. Who knows, maybe google will rework it.
    .-= Bogcess´s last blog ..DeltaWing Exhibits Atypical Racecar Concept =-.

  • neo

    when I first tried, I was confused. i thing too many threads simultaneously. after that is not used. (lol)
    .-= neo´s last blog ..Berbagai hal yang harus dikerjakan ketika tidak sedang Ngeblog =-.

  • Donovan

    There are a myriad of social networking tools to use on the enternet. Skype is great for people who like to keep in touch with people outside the office. Facebook, Twitter is great for people amongst colleges and any Business. My least favorite is Myspace which is a great “Gateway-drug-to-Social-Media-Networking.”

    The main reason why these work… is the targeted audiences. What Googlewave has done is targeting everyone. Yes they need no real advertisements, but they could have made different versions meant for specific audiences.


    • I think each networking making it’s own space and targeting specific groups. I think is helpful to a specific group rather than general public.

  • I hate google wave bcoz of invitation to join in it…

  • This is interesting. I really didn’t know much about Wave, but it sounds like a typical big company case of believing that if you put the “cool technology” out there, people will come. Google’s roots were long in the “what do people really need” camp. With Wave, it sounds like they left that camp (if only temporarily) and sought to promote neat technology.
    Of course, if you ask me what I REALLY want, it’s a jet pack. 🙂

    • I think this google thought of doing something that will change the way we chat, And I thinl they didn’t do a good job because of the invite only restriction

  • This is my observation that social networking sites are always grown from bottom up, but not from top dowm. Here I ment to say that any of social networking sites are always being popular within a small segament of people first and then more and more people gets added gradually and then accordingly provider added more and more features. So this is the way Social Networking sites work, but not the way google tried to do. One example of very popular social networking site is Orkut, which is popular in a particular segamenr of people and owned by Google. But again that site was started as bottom up.

    • Maybe , google wave may grow from bottom to top as many social networking sites did. And there is still chance that it survived.

  • I still have high hopes for Google wave. But I have only 3 friends on their and NO ONE uses it. I tried everything, but I never had a real chance to use it. Plus it was annoying having a seperate email just use wave. Almost never open it up unless and I am bored. Maybe if they revamp it and market a little better it might take off!
    .-= element321´s last blog ..Google Announces Improvements and Response to Feedback =-.

  • You are having a bubble, surely?

    Wave is a completely different thing to buzz, and I’d be most inclined to say that it has certainly not failed. Wave is an incredible system to use much like e-mail, but contrary to your comments, is far, far more useful.

    Our business has migrated all internal communication to wave. Why? Where do I start?! I’ll start by addressing your comments above:

    1: Too much conversation: Click ‘unfollow’, archive, or just ignore a new message. Yes, wave allows chat like features, but I’d argue its primary use is not ‘chatting’, so much as the kind of thing you’d previously have used e-mail for… but with the following advantages:

    – it’s massively multimedia: where else can you consistently place media in the flow, and it appear, and be useful – youtube videos, pictures, maps – why in this day and age should these only be available at the end of a message, or via a link?
    – it’s non-linear. You can jump in at any point and add a comment, or start a thread. Someone mentions a question half way through a paragraph, you just click there and reply and everyone knows what you’re talking about.
    – it’s collaborative – everyone can pitch in, and in real time (but I’ll come to that in time…)

    2: Prone to excessive spamming: Excuse me? I have literally no idea what you’re talking about here. I’ve never received any spam. I think some people early on who didn’t have many friends on wave got a bit excited, and started to look for people to use wave with… and not all of those people were nice, like you an me. Otherwise, I’m just not sure how you’ve ended up with spam.

    3: Real time chatting: this is the absolute key! The feature in G-mail that would update a conversation so you didn’t end up repeating something someone else has already said is all very well, but it required you to wait until they’ve said all they want to say. In Wave, this is not the case – far from it! You see peoples responses as they come. Often I’ll add my “I agree” comment before they’ve even finished as I can see what they’re typing. Same when asking a question, I can begin answering it before it’s finished. And everyone sees the same wave.. this is key, so I’ll start a new paragraph!

    Everyone sees the same wave. E-mail is no good. It’s rubbish. When you mail out 3 questions to 5 people, the first one replies to you, the second replies to all, then you’ve got something further to add, so you reply to the second, which misses out first persons reply. Then someone replies to your original e-mail… Oh my goodness – what a mess! However, with everyone adding their comments as you go, on the same wave, someone pitching in 2 days after the bulk of conversation can pitch in their thoughts, seeing everything that’s gone before, in a well ordered, well managed Wave. No trying to decipher who said what to who when! It’s such a breath of fresh air.

    4: Applications: Yes, wave is not a lightweight app, but my goodness it works hard for it. Gadgets are so helpful. Again, polling peoples thoughts – a yes no gadget is so much more helpful than a load of e-mails in a row, not sure who’s answering which question. Adding a map to show where something’s taking place is so helpful – putting the youtube video in line is excellent. Not to mention there’s tons of stuff that can occur server side (who else has a 6GB context sensitive spell checker?).

    I’m sorry if this has come out as somewhat of a rant. I didn’t mean it to be, but I passionately believe that Google wave is massively misunderstood. It is not chat, it is not facebook, it is not flickr. It’s e-mail for the 21st century, redeveloped to take the best bits of all those other features of the web.

    I found the other day that if you drag a wave into the wave you’re working on, it adds a link to that wave. Unbelievably helpful for helping waves not get too cluttered, for making links to previous thoughts, or even having an index wave of what you’re currently working on.

    Yes, there are features I’m really looking forward to (stars and draft mode to mention only 2). But wave is already helping my business be more efficient, and keep our information better ordered…

    A last comment: I love how small businesses and organisations can migrate to Wave so much more easily than big ones. It will take time for everyone to move over, but for the time being small businesses are on the forefront of communication thanks to Google. I like that 🙂

    • That’s a point of view that I didn’t consider, I think google wave works brilliantly in your line work. I was looking at it as a networking website, but I guess you are right that it is the gmail of the 21st century. I guess google wave is a different type of software and it is very misunderstood. And I think it may b very useful for small businesses

  • Google wave is still not open to public, so it has created everyone to make use of it, leading to its failure before its mass opening!
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  • Google wave is a failure from my point of view. The most failure for me is the loading time. It is killing me while access it with my current internet bandwith.
    .-= Dana @ Blogging Update´s last blog ..New Domain Adding in Web Hosting Service by use Cpanel Addon Facility =-.

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  • Gautam, it is too early to declare that Google Wave failed. Google Wave is not even announced publicly. They are still working on basics and giving it a finishing touch.

    I am from the enterprise portal background and amazed with simplicity of collaborative document writing. They have still to announce Google Wave for Google Apps which is again going to be an important productivity tool for organizations.

    We also need to understand that Google Wave is not a Facebook/ Twitter competitor. Google Wave is competing with e-mail and with the same time providing some real-time collaboration tool. People are so used to with emails, it is understood that it is going to take some time to catch.

    I am sure that if Google listens to their existing customer base by fixing some small issues, Wave is going to be successful in longer run.
    .-= Punit Pandey´s last blog ..Google Wave for Dummies =-.

  • Wm. Cerniuk

    Never quite figured out how Google Wave would fit into a workflow or make something easier. It took plenty of effort to use and the payback was a hard to track forum sort of information blog thing. Have been waiting for someone to figure this out.

    Going to check out the Google Wave for Dummies but not very hopeful. I like anything that takes the mass of email out of my inbox. “Me too!”, “Yes” and even the “Thank you” are part of the email avalanches that occur every day. Love the sentiment but email technology is just not supporting efficient communications. Had/have high hopes for something like Google Wave…

  • I am still waiting for my invitation to Google Wave, too. Now I couldn’t care less if they send it – I’m over it #Fail.

    Google Buzz is one big disorganized mess and I usually thrive in environments like that! lol (creative type) I do like that it is right out of your email, but that’s about it. Have not been back!

    Anita @ModelSupplies

  • Byron T

    Google Wave = Piece of steaming FAIL shit. Google’s not very good at inventing “stuff”. Just taking existing “stuff” and making it better.

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  • GaivnZY

    reason is simple, non of my friends are using it.

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  • Cncr

    Uhm, I think this is a very good tool for online collaboration in real time for example, it is very useful.
    I think it is not always wise to follow the majority, look 4 yourself and be positive, maybe it is not good for some but for others it is.

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  • they have made it up with google+ or they would make it hopefully 🙂

  • rndtechnologies786

    Nice view.