Google To Close Slide - InformationWeek

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8/26/2011
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Google To Close Slide

Slide social software founder Max Levchin, who also co-founded PayPal, is leaving Google to pursue other opportunities.

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Google is shutting down Slide, the social software maker it acquired for a reported $228 million last August, and Slide founder Max Levchin plans to leave Google.

"Max has decided to leave Slide and Google to pursue other opportunities, and we wish him the best," a Google spokesperson said in an email. "Most of the team from Slide will remain at Google to work on other opportunities."

Levchin is known in Silicon Valley for co-founding PayPal.

The closure of Slide is consistent with CEO Larry Page's initiative to "put more wood behind fewer arrows."

Google grew up with a scatter-shot approach to innovation. The results too often either failed to find an audience or lacked synergy with Google's core businesses. Since becoming CEO in April, Page has overseen the closure of underused services like Google Health and Google PowerMeter, and niche products housed in Google Labs.

Slide's closure, however, comes as something of a surprise given Google's focus over the past year on acquiring social software companies--preparation for the recent launch of its Google+ social network. Other recent social-oriented acquisitions include: Jambool, Angstro, Social Deck, fflick, PostRank, and Fridge.

Writing for AllThingsD, reporter Liz Gannes suggests that Levchin was left out of Google's social plans when Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz were put in charge of Google+.

In a post on its Web site, Slide said that several of its applications--Slideshow, SuperPoke! Pets, Photovine, Video Inbox and Pool Party--will be shut down in the coming months and advised users to consider options for migrating their data elsewhere. Google plans to keep operating Slide's Prizes.org.

"We recognize that many of you have stored valuable content with us and want to assure you that, wherever possible, you will have ample time to download that information or transfer it to another service," Slide said.

As part of that commitment, Slide plans to enable users to download Slide photos or export them to Google's Picasa service.

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