Google kills Buzz

With the launch of its more successful Google+ social networking service, Google on Friday said it plans to shut down Buzz.

Google launched Buzz last year to much fanfare, positioning it as the search giant’s entry into social networking. But it made a series of privacy missteps that tarnished the Buzz brand and resulted in a complaint from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. As part of its settlement with the agency, Google is now subject to independent privacy audits for 20 years.

“We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+,” Bradley Horowitz, product vice president, wrote in a blog post about the Buzz shutdown.

Buzz will close “in a few weeks,” he wrote, so that Google can focus instead on Google+.

The company announced the closure of a few other services as well. In January, it will shut down Code Search, a service that let people search for open-source code. Google will also close Jaiku, a Twitter-like service it acquired in 2007.

Google is also shutting down the University Research Program for Google Search, which offered API (application programming interface) access to Google’s search results for researchers.

The announcement follows another in early September about a number of other services that Google would shut down, including Aardvark, Fast Flip, Sidewiki, Image Labeler and others.

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