A pair of Google products that just never seemed to catch fire are both shutting down two weeks from today — Google+, the company’s once-beleaguered attempt at a social network to rival Facebook, and Inbox, the company’s email app that brought a new approach and a slew of new features to managing email. About the latter closure, we already knew the day was fast approaching. Google confirmed in the fall that it would be pulling the plug on Inbox around this time, and users have been getting notifications letting them know that Inbox would finally be sunset on April 2.
“You can find your favorite Inbox features in the Gmail app,” reads one such notification users have reported getting when they open the app. “Your messages are already waiting for you.” That’s a version of the same message that greets visitors to the Inbox page, at https://www.google.com/inbox/ – “While we were here, we found a new way to email with ideas like snooze, nudges, Smart Reply and more. That’s why we’ve brought your favorite features to Gmail to help you get more done. All your conversations are already waiting for you. See you there.”
In a Google blog post back in September, Gmail product manager Matthew Izatt suggested that the company decided to pull the plug on Inbox because it wanted to “take a more focused approach” to bringing the best email experience to users. Rather than having Gmail be the far and away leader and only bringing the most interesting new experiences to Inbox. “Inbox by Gmail has been a great place to experiment with new ideas like snoozing emails to later, as well as try the latest AI-powered experiences like Smart Reply, Nudges and high-priority notifications to help you stay productive,” Izatt wrote at the time.
Inbox’s closure comes at the same time Google will also finally turn the lights out on Google+, the company’s social network that it decided to shut down last year after disclosing a privacy-related bug. That’s also happening on April 2, and this Reddit thread explains how the Internet Archive has been racing to preserve all public Google+ posts before that shutdown gets under way.