Google Wave, Knol, Friend Connect Cut in House Cleaning

Google Wave, Knol, Friend Connect, Gears, Search Timeline and a few other little-used services, part of CEO Larry Page's plan to put more wood behind fewer arrows.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nov. 22 revealed its latest round of product cuts in its effort to streamline operations, announcing end of life dates for the failed Google Wave real-time collaboration platform, Knol crowdsourced encyclopedia service and Friend Connect social widget tool.

Unveiled to raucous applause at Google I/O in May 2009, Google Wave attracted exponentially more hype than users, even after the service was opened to the general public.

The service let users send emails and text messages and share files, including the ability to edit documents in real time. Google stopped development on Google in August 2010, though users could still create Wave sessions and share them.

Google now said Wave will become read-only and users will not be able to build new waves on Jan. 31, 2012. Google will turn it off for good on April 30. Users will be able to export single waves using the PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off.

Knol made its debut as a potential Wikipedia in 2007, allowing users with expertise in a variety of subject areas to contribute detailed articles on topics they're well-steeped in. The service never gained much traction and ultimately floundered.

Knol will work until April 30, 2012, and users can download their knols to a file and/or migrate them to Knols will no longer be viewable as of May 1, 2012, but will be able to be downloaded and exported. Knol content will no longer be accessible after Oct. 1 next year.

Introduced in 2008 as a half-hearted answer to Facebook Platform Website tools, Google Friend Connect let Website publishers easily add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code.

Google is shutting off Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012. Google urged Friend Connect users to create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on their site to continue to share.