Technologizer

A Brief History of Google’s Social Networking Flops

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Dodgeball

Founded: 2004 (acquired by Google in 2005)

What it could have been: The service that put check ins on the map.

Still extant? No–Google closed it in 2009.

What went wrong? Dodgeball was a mobile service for checking into real-world locations, an idea that eventually became extremely popular. But maybe Google was just too early: In 2004, very few people were familiar with the idea of phone-based social services. (Engadget called Dodgeball “Friendster for your cellphone.”)

Random trivia: Dennis Crowley, founder of Dodgeball, went on to create FourSquare–basically the same thing with much better timing.

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