Google kills off Buzz

Google’s announced that it’s to shut down its Buzz social network to focus on Google+.

Buzz will disappear in a few weeks, says the company, along with various other services it now deems unnecessary, including Code Search, a tool for finding open-source code on the Web, and microblogging service Jaiku.

The company’s also planning to remove the social features of iGoogle early next year, and to shut down he University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to search results for a a few approved academic researchers.

Google Labs, as previously announced, is to close, and and the former websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.

“To succeed you need real focus and thought — thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on,” says product vice president Bradley Horowitz.

“We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.”

Buzz launched in February last year, but suffered problems right from the start. Users were outraged to discover that its default privacy settings were so open as to be almost non-existent.

The company moved fast to put things right, but not before a class-action lawsuit had been launched, along with an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

The closure of Buzz means that users won’t be able to post any more, but they will be able to view existing content on their Google Profile and download it using the Google Takeout export tool.