But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects. The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave’s innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began. In addition, we will work on tools so that users can easily “liberate” their content from Wave.
What really killed wave IMO was the invite-only ramp up scheme and the nature of the product are in direct contradiction to each other. Wave is only useful as a collaborative tool if every single person you want to collaborate with on something is able to access it; if even one person that you want in the discussion is missing it is completely and utterly useless and you find some other means of communication.
Invites worked well with GMail simply because you didn’t need to know anyone else using GMail for it to be useful to you; you can send and receive from everyone that uses any email client. Wave on the other hand had tons of people wanting to try it out and some subset of those people got the initial invites; without all their friends on it it was pretty much useless to them.
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