Mountain View (CA) – Google announced that it will close its Lively experiment by the end of the year. The web-based portal launched in July, making it one of the shorter Google experiments. “It has been a tough decision, but we want to ensure that we prioritize our resources and focus more on our core search, ads and apps business,” the company stated in a blog post.
In the past Google, has typically allowed its projects to linger in the beta phase for months and months, which would indicate that this experiment did not work at all.
Almost simultaneously, a Reuters reporter, who was paid to document his life within Second Life, confessed that while he was conducting the experiment his online life actually wasn’t that great.
“It’s hard to say what, if anything, Linden Lab can do to make Second Life appeal to a general audience,” Eric Krangel wrote. “The very things that most appeal to Second Life’s hardcore enthusiasts are either boring or creepy for most people.”
Krangel stated that selling virtual clothing, chatting with strangers, and experimenting with new genders and species just was not that interesting.
It is beginning to become apparent that the once touted life in virtual worlds just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. With that being said, larger companies such as IBM are planning to continue investing in this type o technology, betting that at some point it will lead to a profitable Internet model.