A few hours ago, a fake email claiming Google was killing off Gmail went viral on social media platforms like Twitter/X. Naturally, those of us in the tech scene immediately recognized it as a hoax. But many regular users fell for it, retweeting and expressing shock that Google would terminate such a core product. It got so out of hand that the official Gmail account had to step in with a tweet debunking the rumor.

The question many are asking is: why were people so quick to believe that Google might shut down Gmail? The answer lies in Google’s troubling history of prematurely axing popular apps and services.

Remember Inbox by Gmail? It was a brilliant re-imagining of email that gained a loyal following, only to be “sunsetted” by Google in 2019. But that’s hardly the only casualty – there’s an entire website, KilledbyGoogle.com, dedicated to chronicling the many victims of Google’s fickle nature.

Here are just a few more casualties of Google’s digital graveyard:

  • Google Podcasts: A solid podcast app that couldn’t compete with the giants.
  • YouTube Stories: Yet another attempt to snatch users from Snapchat and Instagram.
  • Google Duo: Once touted as the future of Google’s video communication, but now being merged into Google Meet.
  • Google Domains: A domain registration service that never found wide adoption.
  • Stadia: A promising cloud gaming platform that was shut down with shocking speed.

This pattern of unceremoniously killing projects was the basis of our previous article, which stated plainly that Google shouldn’t be trusted after they reneged on the “free for life” promise of Google Photos storage. People jumped on Google Photos because storage was free for life. After Google had us hooked, they removed the feature and now have as paying.

Our most painful experience remains the loss of Inbox by Gmail. Even years later, the wound hasn’t healed. And although Google promised to bring those features to the normal Gmail, that has never happened.

This brings us to Google’s recent pledge of 7 years of updates for the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. We know it is a lie. If they do it, it will be a miracle. They ditched the Pixel Upgrade Program, why would they keep a phone updated for 7 years. Let’s wait and see!

Google may try to rebuild its image through extended support or ambitious new projects. But the internet has a long memory. Every new announcement will likely be met with the unspoken question: “Okay, but for how long?” Until Google demonstrates true commitment and respect for its user base, it will continue to fight an uphill battle for trust.

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