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Halloween in Google’s Graveyard

Nothing says Halloween like haunted houses and graveyards. With that in mind, FairSearch decided to check in on what we would call “the Google Graveyard.”

Google routinely acquires other companies with services that compete with Google, often shutting them down in order to promote Google’s own version of these services, thus further maintaining its dominance in the online market.

Below are four of the many such examples of companies to which we’ve seen this happen:

  • Bump, d. January 2014: Bump was an incredibly popular data transfer service that allowed two mobile phone users to share information wirelessly with only software. With over 125 million downloads, Bump was at one point the 8th most popular app in the iOS store of all time. Google purchased the company in September of 2013, and almost immediately thereafter announced plans to shut it down in favor of their own, NFC-enabled data transfer system built into Android. Unlike Bump, however, the Android-based only works with another Android device; Bump would allow an Android user to share info with an iPhone user, and vice-versa.
  • Like.com, d. ~2012: Like.com was a visual shopping search engine that allowed users to find products available from retailers such as Amazon.com. At launch, MarketWatch described Like.com as “the next evolution of comparison-shopping engines, such as Google’s Froogle,” which was a weaker offering on the market at the time. Google eventually acquired Like.com in August of 2010, and despite promises that the service would continue to operate separately from Google, at some point Like.com became Google.com/shopping.
  • Picnik, d. April 2012: Originally a free-to-use rich photo editor, Picnik allowed users to edit photos from a variety of sources, including Facebook, Picasa Web Albums and Flickr, and then share those images back out to the web. Two years after being acquired by Google, the company was shut down, the tools were exclusively integrated into Google+, and two of the original engineers left Google to start a competing service.
  • Dodgeball, d. February 2009: Dodgeball was Foursquare before Foursquare. Co-founded by current Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley in 2000, Dodgeball was an early attempt to gamify local search, so that they could more easily collect information and recommendations tailored to a user. Google purchased the company in 2005, and after a two-year period that Crowley would later describe as, “incredibly frustrating,” he left Google to found Foursquare. Google would go on to shut down Dodgeball in 2009, integrating parts of the service into Google Latitude—a service that would then be also discontinued in August, 2013.