Google Kills Lively Quickly
from the that-didn't-take-long dept
Just a few months ago, when Google launched its “Lively” 3D chat offering, I questioned Google’s strategy, as it didn’t seem to offer anything different or compelling. Some people here disagreed, and believed Google would be able to turn the service into something compelling, but that appears not to be. Since the launch, to be honest, I can’t recall ever hearing about Lively again — and had pretty much forgotten it existed. And, indeed, less than six months after launching it, Google has killed off Lively, admitting that the experiment was something of a failure.
There seems to be a growing pattern in figuring out which Google projects are a success and which will fail. When it merely copies something others are doing, as with Lively, it tends not to do very well. When it changes the game, as it did originally with things like Google Maps (the first real AJAXy mapping solution) and Gmail (huge storage and AJAXy front end), then it gets usage. Google’s success has always been in reimagining products that people seem to believe are mature, and completely reshaping how people think about those products. That was true with maps (which had been dominated by MapQuest and Yahoo Maps for years) and email… and it was even true in search. People thought the search market was too crowded when Google showed up, but its solution was so different and so much more compelling it got attention. Lively, on the other hand, was a pure me-too play. There are half-a-dozen other offerings that effectively do the same thing. Google didn’t give anyone a real reason to use Lively… and, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that Lively is now dead.