Friday, August 26, 2011
Gavin O'Malley, August 26, 2011, 11:58 AM
Google Drops SlideAll Things Digital

A victim of Google's recent restructuring, the search giant has decided to dissolve Slide. No matter that it dropped $200 million on the social apps start-up last year, Slide apparently didn't fit with the new Google.

"Although Slide ... had not matched its lofty expectations and valuations ... its acquisition brought Google some key assets," writes All Things Digital. They incuded "Social Web expertise at a time when it was dearly needed, and [founder Max] Levchin, who famously founded PayPal."

"Tellingly, the Slide acquisition came just 48 hours after [Google] binned its Wave tool, the email-IM-and-everything-else-Web-2.0-splatter-gun platform which proved to be an unpopular product that no one wanted to play with," The Register notes.

"But that was last August," All Things D adds. "Since then, Google has entrusted its social efforts to two of its existing executives, Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz, who led the team that created Google+."

"Part of the reason for Slide's retirement: Slide's apps simply didn't take off as anticipated," writes VatorNews. "Consequently, many Slide applications are getting the ax, including Superpoke Pets, Pool Party, Video Inbox, and even Photovine."

Regarding Google's original decision to drop $200 million, "the idea was to get more serious about social games, as well as to get proven entrepreneur Levchin on board," TechCrunch writes. "But a lot has changed in the past year -- for one thing Eric Schmidt is no longer CEO. For another, Google now has Google+.

Referring to Google's recently reappointed CEO, Mashable concludes: Larry "Page isn't afraid to admit defeat and cut unsuccessful projects before they become a drag on the company."

That said, "Levchin's departure is surprising, given Google's recent push into social networking with Google+," reasons CNet. "But Levchin didn't play any sort of public role in launching the new social network, and it's unclear if he played a significant role in the creation of it."

Read the whole story...
  • Gavin O'Malley, August 26, 2011, 11:58 AM
  • Joshua Schachter, the creator of bookmarking service Delicious, has reportedly launched his latest service, Jig. "At first glance the site seems a bit like Twitter, but it has a different focus," explains entrepreneur and "technology futurist" Nova Spivack. "Instead of posting about what you are doing, you post about what you need." Other people and then expected to reply with suggestions, ideas, answers, help -- "or presumably commercial products and services that can meet your need," Spivack surmises. Yet, "this is not a new idea," according to Spivack. "It's been done before, at least in print, quite successfully, in the form of want ads." While it's not "ground-breakingly new, it's beautifully executed and quite simple and elegant ... enough in fact that it might catch on." Early posts include requests for restaurants suggestions, a guy asking what gift he should buy for his minimalist girlfriend, and a request to understand how UFO propulsion works. Read the whole story...
  • Taking Google TV on the road, the search giant is expected to bring its "Internet TV" service to the UK. The new service will let users switch between television and the Web at the same set, as well as watch material from catch-up services, such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Player on their main TV screen, The Telegraph reports.

    "Accessed through a special set-top box, the service is due to launch in the UK within six months, following its launch earlier in the US," it writes. Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt is scheduled to outline the plans when he gives this year's MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

    According Google, the service will allow people to search all of the content on the TV and the Internet by using a single click. "The service will also allow viewers to switch between the TV and the internet on their main screen without having to adjust any cables," The Telegraphs notes. Other tricks include letting users change channels with their smartphone instead of a standard remote control. Read the whole story...
  • Social media magazine Flipboard reportedly plans to add television shows and films to its existing cache of online articles. As such, "Internet video is getting even more crowded," Reuters concludes. Flipboard, which boasts high-profile backers like Ashton Kutcher, apparently hopes to cut deals with studios to carry movies and episodes of TV shows -- "getting into territory staked out by Netflix, Hulu and Facebook," Reuters writes.

    Flipboard CEO Mike McCue tells Reuters that he plans to tackle the video project at the end of the year, although he declined to say which studio partners he has approached. McCue also said he hopes to ultimately cut deals with publishers to sell e-books through Flipboard.

    At present, Flipboard offers a mix articles from every publisher from Oprah.com to the Economist, to which it adds social media feeds from sites like Facebook. To date, it has taken $60.5 million in investment, while, according to Reuters, its app has been downloaded about 3 million times. Read the whole story...