List of Google’s biggest flops in 2018
It's true that the search giant had made a lot of right choices over the years but 2018 failed to be a continuation of that trend.
In 2018, the company made a number of announcements and changes that are rather baffling and will be impacting users and the industry as a whole for sometimes. However, when you take them all into account and look at the bigger picture, then it becomes clear that 2018 was a major misstep for Google.
It seems that for every product as successful as Google Docs, there's a flop as bad as Google Buzz.
Here is the list of Google’s biggest flops in 2018.
In October 2018, Google announced that Google+ is going away. The company said that it will slowly start shutting down the service, and it will be completely down for consumer use in August of 2019... but, in the meantime, another security breach occurred, and Google basically accelerated Google+'s demise, new "execution" date is set for April. The company said that Google+ is not worth maintaining, based on Project Strobe results, as apparently, the social network did not manage to attract enough users, and those who use it, don’t really spend a lot of time doing so. Now, shutting down Google+ is yet misstep by Google in 2018.
Google had launched Hangouts back in 2013, during Google I/O, after Google Talk got rebranded, basically. Hangouts included elements from Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and the Hangouts feature of Google+. At the time, it seemed like Google had the right idea, and the right formula to make a truly compelling chatting and video-calling app, but after over five years, it seems like the company is planning to call it quits. Though it had bugs and performance issues over the years, the app has been extremely solid for a while. Hangouts should have been further improved, pushed to become the iMessage of Android, but instead, Google opted to launch a ton of other apps to try and replace it, and it let Hangouts die. Hangouts is a hot topic these days, but the bottom line is Google made a huge mistake here.
Google’s sexual harassment scandal is arguably the company’s worst flop in 2018. This whole scandal started to unfold at the end of October when the New York Times released an expose on Andy Rubin’s (the father of Android, and was one of the most important figures at Google) misconduct at Google years ago, and how the company protected him back then. He probably did not leave willingly, which is one of the reasons this sexual scandal has been a huge shock for everyone in the industry. Actually, one of the company’s employees accused Mr. Rubin of sexual misconduct back in 2013, but everything has been kept under the radar. When the company realized that there’s some credibility to the accusation, Larry Page asked Andy Rubin to resign. The whole issue did not surface until the end of October 2018, so it has been kept under wraps for over four years.
Back in September, Google has announced that one of its email services will be shut down in 2019, and considering Gmail is not going away anytime soon, Inbox is facing the ax. That decision did not sit well with Inbox users, not at all, quite a few people expressed their anger following the announcement, and even a petition to save the service surfaced online, and managed to acquire quite a few signatures.
YouTube Gaming App
YouTube Gaming was not a good idea, to begin with. The YouTube Gaming app was supposed to be a competitor to Twitch in YouTube’s eyes, at least that's what it seems, but it was basically dead upon arrival, as it did not really offer anything that would make people use it separately from YouTube’s main app. This app is going away in March 2019, and that is yet another example of how easily Google launches and kills off services or applications.
Android Wear was launched back in 2014 as Google’s very own OS for wearables, and Google opted to rebrand it in 2018, so it’s not named Wear OS, formally known as Wear OS by Google. Wear OS actually brought some much-needed improvements to the OS, and many would say that it either isn’t a flop or is the least significant flop on this list.