Google 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.