Google CEO Larry Page has struck again with his “more wood behind fewer arrows” mission to streamline the search engine giant’s products.
While the company won’t confirm this was what happened to the Slide social software unit Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) acquired a year ago for $228 million, a source confirmed for eWEEK that this is exactly what has happened. Also, Slide founder Max Levchin has left Google.
Last August, Google under then-CEO Eric Schmidt acquired Slide, a maker of social games such as SuperPoke that became popular on MySpace and Facebook.
This was right around the time dozens of software engineers were building the Google+ social network. Rather than assign Slide CEO Levchin to the Google+ team, he and his team were allowed to work on their own social media applications from Google’s San Francisco office.
Those applications began appearing in the last six months or so. There was Disco, a group-messaging application; photo-sharing applications Pool Party and PhotoVine; and Video Inbox for viral video consumption. Interestingly, these applications worked for Apple’s iPhone, not Google’s Android platform.
Google paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure these domains. Many journalists and pundits expected these applications would somehow be applied to Google+, which launched to limited field-testing in June.
However, Page’s resumption of the reigns made it apparent that all presumptions to Google’s Web services were off of the table. Page, who streamlined Google’s executive management, embarked on a big cost-cutting plan, shuttering Google Health and PowerMeter in June and axing Google Labs in July.
Slide is the latest casualty of casual attrition. According to a Slide blog post: “We created products with the goal of providing a fun way for people to connect, communicate and share While we are incredibly grateful to our users and for all of the wonderful feedback over the years, many of these products are no longer as active or haven’t caught on as we originally hoped.”
Slide will help users preserve their data via download or transfer to another service.
AllThingsDigital, which broke the news, said many Slide employees would land at Google’s YouTube video-sharing unit. Curiously, Prizes.org, which is being developed by the Slide China team, will survive the axe.
With Google thinning at this rapid rate, it could be whittled back down to search, Android, Chrome and YouTube by Christmas.