A year ago, Google was looking for answers to its problem of a lack of a social face. Now that it has Google+, it is ditching the acquisitions and experiments that failed along the way.
Sliding On Out
Slide was a busy part of the Web's social evolution over the years, helping users poke pets on Facebook, play games and buy virtual goods. It sprang from the mind of one of PayPal's co-founders, Max Levchin, and became a bit of a web darling until it was picked up by Google just over a year ago.
Since then, Google has been on a roller-coaster of throwing social technologies (like gamification) at users to see what stuck. Wave and Buzz came and went, while Slide ran as an independent outfit offering photo sharing and other low-yield services.
Quite why Google is canning the whole project is unknown, but as one of the smaller cogs in the Google machine, the axe won't have a massive impact. Some workers are expected to move to YouTube while the big names are all headed for the exit.
Not Fun and Games
Current the Slide site is offering a host of cute-looking games and diversions, which look like they could happily run as a spun-off social media business. The company had around 100 employees and cost Google over US$ 200 million to buy and retain the talent.
Hopefully those who do lose out, although the original story says some staff will be retained, will be able to create or join some interesting startups or early stage companies to spread the experience they picked up at Slide.