In a somewhat surprising move, Google's Slide skunkworks team, will be dissolved and employees will be sent to different parts of Google. The team's leader, Max Levchin is leaving Google, and most of Slide's products, many of which have only been around for a few months, or less, will be killed off.
This means the end for Photovine, Disco, Pool Party and other new apps and services created after Slide was acquired by Google, but also for Slide's previous apps.
One thing that is surviving is Prizes.org, apparently. Levchin's departure was initially reported
by All Things D, but there is now a post on Slide's blog announcing that most products will be shut down.
"We wanted to give you all advance notice that in the coming months, a number of Slide's products and applications will be retired. This includes Slide's products such as Slideshow and SuperPoke! Pets, as well as more recent products such as Photovine, Video Inbox and Pool Party," Slide wrote
"While we are incredibly grateful to our users and for all of the wonderful feedback over the years, many of these products are no longer as active or haven't caught on as we originally hoped," the post explained.
It's very likely that Slide's products were not doing great. That said, Google never really made an effort to promote them. There was never even any mention of Google, no advertising, no official announcements, no product tie-ins. Photovine got a YouTube video and that was pretty much it.
It's understandable perhaps. Initially, Slide was allowed to remain independent, inside Google, to signal that the company was not overrun by bureaucracy. But Slide was Sergey Brin's project.
Now that Larry Page is firmly in charge as CEO, unnecessary projects are getting killed off left and right. What's more, Google+ has very much proven itself and many of Slide's new products were direct competitors to Google+ features.
Still, perhaps there was a way of merging the products or integrating the functionality in Google+. Photovine in particular was a very slick app and sounded like an interesting concept.
Slide has about 100 employees, which will be transferred to other Google properties, including YouTube. It's hard to imagine that moral is very great though, especially since the news of the closure came pretty much out of the blue and the latest products didn't really get a chance. Photovine has been open to the public
for only a week now.