It's only April, and 2019 has already been an absolutely brutal year for Google's product portfolio. The Chromecast Audio was discontinued January 11. YouTube annotations were removed and deleted January 15. Google Fiber packed up and left a Fiber city on February 8. Android Things dropped IoT support on February 13. Google's laptop and tablet division was reportedly slashed on March 12. Google Allo shut down on March 13. The "Spotlight Stories" VR studio closed its doors on March 14. The goo.gl URL shortener was cut off from new users on March 30. Gmail's IFTTT support stopped working March 31.
And today, April 2, we're having a Google Funeral double-header: both Google+ (for consumers) and Google Inbox are being laid to rest. Later this year, Google Hangouts "Classic" will start to wind down, and somehow also scheduled for 2019 is Google Music's "migration" to YouTube Music, with the Google service being put on death row sometime afterward.
We are 91 days into the year, and so far, Google is racking up an unprecedented body count. If we just take the official shutdown dates that have already occurred in 2019, a Google-branded product, feature, or service has died, on average, about every nine days.
Some of these product shutdowns have transition plans, and some of them (like Google+) represent Google completely abandoning a user base. The specifics aren't crucial, though. What matters is that every single one of these actions has a negative consequence for Google's brand, and the near-constant stream of shutdown announcements makes Google seem more unstable and untrustworthy than it has ever been. Yes, there was the one time Google killed Google Wave nine years ago or when it took Google Reader away six years ago, but things were never this bad.
For a while there has been a subset of people concerned about Google's privacy and antitrust issues, but now Google is eroding trust that its existing customers have in the company. That's a huge problem. Google has significantly harmed its brand over the last few months, and I'm not even sure the company realizes it.
In case you all are wondering about my Google+ Archlinux group, we have moved to MeWe for now.
So far this year I have from:
- Gmail/Inbox = Riseup.net(I can get you an invite if you want) using Thunderbird.
- Drive = Nextcloud (self hosting cloud) and Pcloud
- Google Music = Spotify and I am about to host my own using Ampache. I use I use AntennaPod for podcasts.
- Chromium = Brave (I know that it is built on chromium but I like the features). I will fire up chromium if I need to be logged in for something.
- Google search = DuckDuckGo (once in a while I will have to use google as it's better when troubleshooting technical issues)
- Hangouts = Signal and of course IRC (as always)
- Google+ = MeWe and Diaspora. MeWe has groups so my Archlinux group is there.
- Keep Notes = Turtl (encrypted notes synced across devices and encrypted locally)
What non-google services are you using?