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5 Products That Owe Google Wave A Beer

19 October 2012 No Comment

It's the Velvet Underground of tech: just a few users, but a boatload of imitators.

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Source: theabundantartist.com

Despite their recent stock woes, Google has always been great at making cool web toys. They just haven't always known what to do with them, promoting some dud services (cough, Google+, cough) while throttling others in their prime (cough, Google Reader, cough). At the top of our gone-too-soon list is Google Wave, which was suspended just 15 months after it launched. (You can still host it yourself, but it's just not the same.)

A few years later, it's one of the more influential tech products to come out of Mountain View — all the more influential for having burned so bright and disappeared so fast. If you look close, you can see the aftershocks of Wave in dozens of major web products. But since you're busy, I'll narrow it down the top five…

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Wave was essentially a very advanced chat room. It started with a simple, low-impact platform and added embeddable bells and whistles (video, map widgets, and so on) until it turned into something much more versatile. This is the same trick Twitter is trying to pull with Cards, which embed article, photos and videos into tweets.

As it turns out, users like simple platforms and advertisers really like embeddable bells and whistles. So even if Twitter's Cards don't work out, it won't be the last time someone tries this.

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