101 Things That Died on the Internet (and What Killed Them)

At times, brands have to make tough decision to kill off their products even if it turns the raving fans sad. Sometimes the decision might be justifiable from the business perspective. Sometimes it makes sense to kill off a product that lost its traction. Here’s my digital dead list of Internet things that made their way to the graveyard. Rest in Peace…

  1. Facebook Beacons- What killed it: Due to privacy concerns, Beacons app has been shut down
  2. Google+- What killed it: The overconfident Google thought the next big thing in social media is Google+ but it eventually failed to bring in user engagement and differentiate the service from Facebook.
  3. Internet ExplorerWhat killed it: Although the technology is moving way too fast forward, the Microsoft stubbornness keeps the IE to adopt the changes in slower pace.
  4. AgenciesWhat killed them: Traditional model agencies are dead because it continues to market the brands with untested theories that no longer work.
  5. PageRankWhat killed it: The PageRank was updated originally for searchers to determine how reputable a website is. However, the reality is that it was mainly used by SEOs. Since PR shown in the toolbar has no significant value, Google killed off the PR.
  6. QR CodesWhat killed it: Significantly lower user adoption.
  7. Conventional BloggingWhat killed it: Social media killed it. Today, blogging without leveraging the networking effect of social media is dead.
  8. Guest BloggingWhat killed it: Matt Cutts (and his fork). Guest blogging for SEO purpose is dead as it is becoming more and more spammy practice.
  9. Google ReaderWhat killed it: The change in user habits. There is a huge shift in the cultural change among the users on how they consume news. People nowadays prefer short snippets from Twitter and other sources.
  10. Google WaveWhat killed it: Maybe it was too ahead of time or there were too many features to ever allow it to be defined properly.
  11. Google BuzzWhat killed it: Google killed it to focus more on Google+. Unfortunately, Google+ was also dead now.
  12. OrkutWhat killed it: In the early days, Orkut has got wider adoption by the users on the emerging markets like Brazil and India but that didn’t last long and Facebook took the lead slowly.
  13. Yahoo! MessengerWhat killed it: The advent of social mobile apps made it look like an old fashioned app.
  14. MySpaceWhat killed it: Failed to evolve the product. There are lots of reasons why MySpace failed like the cluttered UI, annoying personalization, and the site being over-optimized for ads. But ultimately, they failed to evolve the product as Facebook does.
  15. Netscape NavigatorWhat killed it: It lost its ground to the Internet Explorer.
  16. Digg.comWhat killed it: The failure of Digg was due to a combination of factors including frequent changes to the user experience and its failure to hold its mainstream users.
  17. EncartaWhat killed it: It lost its ground to the Wikipedia
  18. Microsoft Comic Chat
    What killed it: Wrong monetization strategy by Microsoft killed the product.
  19. Windows Live MessengerWhat killed it: Microsoft retired the Messenger in favor of Skype, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2011.
  20. Google HelpoutsWhat killed it: Since much of the information people sought on Helpouts exists on YouTube, it made the Helpouts less relevant.
  21. Google LivelyWhat killed it: Low user adoption.
  22. Hello by PicasaWhat killed it: Google’s acquisition. Hello was created originally by the Picasa team before the Google’s acquisition. As Google have many apps such as Google Talk for the same purpose, Google decided to kill off Hello.
  23. SearchMashWhat killed it: The experimental, non-branded search engine by Google was retired because of its less user adoption.
  24. Google LabsWhat killed it: Google killed the Labs in order to focus their energy more on the core products.
  25. GearsWhat killed it: In an effort to push HTML 5 forward, Google killed Gears.
  26. Google NotebookWhat killed it: As of July 2012, Notebook was shut down and all the Notebook data was auto-exported to Google Docs in an effort to focus more on the products like Docs that provide more value to the users.
  27. Google CodeWhat killed it: The advent of much better project hosting services like Github and Bitbucket made Google Code less relevant.
  28. Google HealthWhat killed it: Google retired the service due to privacy concerns. In addition, there was no huge demand for such an app.
  29. Google Website OptimizerWhat killed it: In an effort to focus more on Google Analytics, Google killed off Website Optimizer and integrated its many features into Google Analytics.
  30. Google Friend ConnectWhat killed it: Google retired Friend Connect for focusing more on Google+.
  31. KnolWhat killed it: As a part of their off season spring cleaning, Google shut down Knol as it failed to gain traction among the users.
  32. Slide.comWhat killed it: Google kills Slide in favor of Google+.
  33. Google talkWhat killed it: Google retired GTalk in order to push the messaging app Hangout forward.
  34. Google timeline search:What killed it: Similar to Website Optimizer, as a part of focusing more on its core products, Google dropped the timeline feature and integrated its features into several other products.
  35. Google Bookmarks listWhat killed it: Similar to Knol, Google shut down Bookmarks list as a part of their off season spring cleaning as it didn’t gain much traction among the users.
  36. iGoogleWhat killed it: It was started in 2005. Since then, user habits have changed a lot, which made iGoogle less relevant.
  37. Blog SearchWhat killed it: As a part of spring cleaning Google killed off the blog search.
  38. PanoramioWhat killed it: Google wants to shut down Panoramio in favor of their new service Google Maps Views.
  39. DeliciousWhat killed it: Delicious was killed off by Yahoo in favor of Yahoo Bookmarks.
  40. WretchWhat killed it: Yahoo! killed off Wretch as they were focusing more on another blogging platform Tumblr.
  41. Yahoo 360What killed it: It was shut down as it fails to gain traction among the users.
  42. Yahoo PhotosWhat killed it: Yahoo Photos were shut down in favor of Flickr.
  43. Maps.Yahoo.comWhat killed it: Yahoo killed off Maps as it is focusing less on its many different platforms and more on its core products.
  44. Alta vistaWhat killed it: Back then, it was the most popular search engine but eventually it lost its ground to Google.
  45. Text Link AdsWhat killed it: Google specifically targeted Text Link Ads and penalized the sites that are associated with the network.
  46. Link baitWhat killed it: Link baits that focus solely on search engine juice rather than providing value to the visitors are penalized by Google Penguin.
  47. Facebook PlacesWhat killed it: Low user adoption killed it.
  48. Facebook emailWhat killed it: Most of the users had no idea what Facebook email was all about. It was dropped due to low user adoption.
  49. FBMLWhat killed it: Facebook killed off FBML in favor of iFrames.
  50. Facebook DealsWhat killed it: After testing for 4 months, Facebook decided to drop Deals as it fails to gain user traction.
  51. FlickrWhat killed it: Instead of focusing on innovation, Flick team was focusing on integration, which gradually declines the growth of the product.
  52. Google AnswersWhat killed it: Google stopped the service to focus more on its core products.
  53. TweetdeckWhat killed it: Low user adoption is the reason why Twitter shut it down for Android and iPhone.
  54. PicnikWhat killed it: Google merged much of its features into its social platform Google+.
  55. AardvarkWhat killed it: As a part of their off season spring cleaning, Google shut down Aardvark.
  56. SidewikiWhat killed it: Low user adoption rate killed it.
  57. FriendsterWhat killed it: Friendster put way too much emphasis on the media rather than on the social. Gradually, it became irrelevant.
  58. Ad plannerWhat killed it: Ad planner was discontinued in favor of Google Display planner.
  59. LinkedIn products and servicesWhat killed it: In order to focus the resources on building the best products LinkedIn dropped the products and services tab.
  60. ZyngaWhat killed it: Zynga hugely relied on third party platform Facebook and marketed aggressively on it. As Facebook changed the way how it treats the social gaming, it leads to slow death of Zynga .
  61. Article submissionsWhat killed it: Panda updates killed off article submission directories such as Ezine Articles.
  62. Press releasesWhat killed it: It is an age-old tactic that won’t work out as most of the journalists are learn to neglect it. And, here’s how to do press releases in the modern era.
  63. Link ExchangesWhat killed it: Google penalizes the link exchanging platforms and the sites that are associated with it.
  64. Alexa rankWhat killed it: It killed itself as it was never a standard metric to rely on.
  65. Banner adsWhat killed it: Banner blindness killed it.
  66. iTunes ping– What killed it: Because of the low user adoption Ping was replaced with deep Facebook integration.
  67. EonsWhat killed it: It failed to gain the traction among the users.
  68. XangaWhat killed it: As the popularity of more modern competitors has increased, which eventually leads to slow and painful death of Xanga.
  69. Picasa web albumWhat killed it: Google killed off Picasa web album in favor of Google+.
  70. Adobe flash playerWhat killed it: In the age of HTML5, Adobe flash player is outdated.
  71. Cuil What killed it: In the Google dominant search market, Cuil lost to gain traction among users.
  72. Boo.comWhat killed it: It was too early and were trying to do too much in a single product.
  73. SpiralfrogWhat killed it: Financial meltdown and management dysfunction were the main reasons for the failure of the service.
  74. JoostWhat killed it: There are lots of reasons why it failed. They didn’t focus well on a single market and they did hired too many people, which is quite unusual for a startup.
  75. SearchMeWhat killed it: They fall into debt which eventually made them to go offline or find a buyer.
  76. Facebook pokeWhat killed it: Poke app was withdrawn from the iOS app store in favor of Snapchat.
  77. Yahoo BuzzWhat killed it: User adoption rate was too low
  78. Hi5What killed it: Though Hi5 is still around, it lost ground to the growing popularity of Facebook.
  79. The HubWhat killed it: The main reason behind the failure of Walmart version of MySpace, the Hub is that they extensively plugged-in Wal-Mart products along with fake profiles.
  80. DiasporaWhat killed it: Started as a Kickstarter project, Diaspora gained quick traction as a Facebook killer. However, the project moved to an early death as the founders weren’t capable enough to deliver what they claimed they could.
  81. WesableWhat killed it: They ran out of money and time quickly, which eventually leads to its death.
  82. Dropbox public folderWhat killed it: The public folder feature was removed in favor of Share link feature.
  83. AOL Instant MessengerWhat killed it: The rise in social networking sites with proprietary chat functions made AIM less relevant.
  84. Yahoo GeocitesWhat killed it: The negligence of Yahoo killed it.
  85. Broadcast.comWhat killed it: Broadcast, the video streaming service was too slow and the service was over monetized with video ads.
  86. LycosWhat killed it: It lost its ground in the competition with Google.
  87. Mt. GoxWhat killed it: The company was managed poorly and its gross incompetence killed itself.
  88. EachnetWhat killed it: Company failed to localize the service.
  89. Google Flu TrendsWhat killed it: Wrong analysis of the big data killed off GFT.
  90. BrizzlyWhat killed it: AOL killed it off as it lost gaining traction among users.
  91. EchofonWhat killed it: To focus more on the mobile, they discontinued Echofon desktop apps.
  92. HototWhat killed it: It was discontinued as the developers lost the focus on the product.
  93. WeightbotWhat killed it: Tapbots killed off the Weightbot app in an effort to focus more on other important apps like Tweetbot and Calbot.
  94. Amazon Product AdsWhat killed it: Amazon announced that they’ll be discontinuing the Product Ads soon in an effort to focus more on text ads.
  95. Snapchat Brand StoriesWhat killed it: To redevelop the ad platform Snapchat closed the Brand Stories.
  96. SU photo blogs and themesWhat killed it: Due to the low user adoption of the feature and to focus more on its core features StumbleUpon decided to kill off the photo blogs and themes.
  97. Honesty boxWhat killed it: Facebook killed off Honesty box as it was widely used for evil purposes.
  98. Google and Facebook chat from Outlook.comWhat killed it: In favor of Skype, Microsoft discontinued the support for third party chats on Outlook.com
  99. Facebook messagingWhat killed it: Facebook discontinued the messaging feature from its mobile app in favor of its the messenger app.
  100. Facebook QuestionsWhat killed it: It failed to gain traction among the users
  101. Reddit toolbarWhat killed it: Reddit removed its toolbar in preparation for full HTTPs.
Shahzad Saeed

Shahzad Saeed is a freelance blogger and content marketer who has been featured in top internet marketing blogs like Problogger and John Chow several times. Connect with him on Twitter @shahzadsaeed and LinkedIn.


  1. Shahzad,

    You sure brought back memories by listing some dinosaurs on here. Oh, my…Yahoo Messenger?

    I recall using that thing back in 2000. Surprised to see that it’s still in existence. I actually still use it as an alternative to Skype. I try to get prospects as many options as possible to reach me.

    As for Alta Vista…wow! Reminds me of those Netscape days.

    • Kevin,
      You’re right. Back then, Yahoo Messenger was one of my favorites. However, I wasn’t surprised with its death as the chat room was a playground for spammers in its final days.

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope you enjoyed the post :)

  2. These are interesting opinions, but many are not highly accurate. Comprehensive list, though. StumbleUpon shot themselves when they deleted years of content created by users whose hearts were broken and now barely use them. They really missed out on an opportunity to give AdWords a run for their money. They chased pennies and lost millions.

  3. Shahzad, that’s an awesome list. Didn’t know Matt Cutts had a fork, I thought he only had a knife (see what I did there). I’d like to say a word about Tweetdeck. It’s not really user adoption that killed it, it was Twitter who killed it (some say they did that on purpose) – the version 0.38.2 was awesome. When Twitter bought it and released its own version, it became one of the worst pieces of software known to the mankind.

  4. Aw, Netscape Navigator! That brings back memories. It sure is crazy how much the internet has changed in such a short period of time and this list really highlights how. Great work!

  5. Great (and very interesting) post! I would add Feedburner to the list. Like a lot of Google tools, it’s still working but with no updates or support. This was probably killed by lack of a revenue model. Also, LinkedIn Answers was dropped by LinkedIn.

    • Emory Rowland

      Tom, Yeah, Feedburner is dying one heck of a slow death. I had forgotten about LinkedIn Answers. Nice additions to the list.

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