Google may be suffering from a bit of a trust problem (Via The Atlantic), though they may not know it. When you’re a company like Google, people tend to trust that when you put your weight behind a service, it’s going to be around for a while. We use Gmail as our main email platform, and Android smartphones and tablets because we trust that these platforms will continue to be supported for years to come, that they are, like Search, core to Google’s fundamental business platform.
But not all services Google tries out last more than a few years. Google Health was launched in 2008 as a way to store all of your health information in one place, which was extremely helpful in a time when even electronic medical records systems don’t talk to each other, creating massive amounts of headache and paperwork for consumers who don’t keep their health care in one cookie-cutter health network. It was killed in 2012.
Google Wave, which was meant to be an all-encompassing chat and collaboration tool was launched in 2009. Though the possibilities of such a platform’s failure were quickly identified, many came to rely on the service as a way to collaborate with friends and colleagues. The service died a quick and painful death just a year later in 2010.
And then there’s Google Reader, which is likely one of Google’s most-used services, created all the way back in 2005. When I take my work to the local coffee shop or library for a change of scene, I without fail see at least one other person using Google’s Reader service, and I personally use the service dozens of times per
day hour. A week ago, Google announced it will shut down Reader in July after 8 years of being in business.
This last shutdown sparked outrage from many, despite Google’s assertion that usage of Google Reader has been declining. It’s broken that sense of trust we’ve had in Google that services it develops will stick around for a while, especially services that aren’t necessarily core to its business model.
Yesterday, Google launched Google Keep, a basic note-taking application similar to Evernote which allows users to quickly jot down a note when they’re out and about. Keep, available as both a web-front and Android application, is both beautiful and easy to use, and if it were from any other company I’d likely attempt to switch from Evernote. But it’s Google, and because Keep isn’t core to Google’s business model, I simply can’t trust that Google will keep the service around for longer than a year, and I’ll be left once again using Google’s Takeout service to migrate my data to another platform down the line.
Sure, it might be an irrational fear, but for something as important to me as a connected note-taking service, I’m going to…Keep…my business elsewhere, in a place I’m somewhat more confident will be around for a while.
This article was written by Anthony Domanico
Anthony is the Editor in Chief of Techgress, and a big mobile and gaming geek. He's covered mobile technology for the better part of three years, and gets excited about shiny, new things. He currently uses an iPhone, iPad Mini, and Nexus 7, but Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry devices are never too far away.