Google Wave launched amid a clamour for "real time" internet services last September. Users were desperate to get hold of invites to join the service and developers creating a raft of apps.
The idea behind the service, which allowed users to see each other typing in real time and to work on documents together, was to recreate email as if it had been invented for the way we work now, rather than 20 years ago.
However, it failed to win users over and now Google has said that Wave has "not seen the user adoption we would have liked". Its performance has been mirrored by Google Buzz, the search engine's other social networking project, which has also failed in its bid for widespread use.
On its blog, Google says: "We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through to the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects."
Google is shortly expected to reveal details of a social network site called Google Me, widely reported to be a competitor to Facebook. It has already invested money in Zynga, which makes games that are played by social network users online, and tomorrow (6 August), it is tipped to be saying it has bought a stake in a social gaming site called Slide.
The search giant says that the Google Wave experiment has not been a waste of time, with parts of the code developed for the site now available as open source.
It also said that it would use what it had learnt in other projects, which is widely thought to be Google Me.
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