Google just unveiled its Evernote-like Google Keep online note and information organizer, and Evernote has nothing to worry about. Keep may be handy, but it isn't a core service for Google, which means it most likely will eventually see an untimely demise, just like Google Reader.
Google's track record says Keep may face the same fate as Reader
Keep lets users store note, photos, audio files, and other bits of data that may come in handy later. The information is stored in user's Google Drive, just like other data from Google's own services. An Android OS app is available now, and Google promises an iOS app is coming soon.
The idea of having a single location to store and manage everything online may be enticing, but Google isn't doing much to instill faith in its users. Even as the service officially launched, Google users were already questioning how long the service would last -- and with good cause.
Only days ago, Google announce it will be shutting down Google Reader in just a few months. The company managed to take over the RSS feed management market several years ago, forcing third party developers to rely on the service for their RSS feed syncing between devices. With Reader sitting on death row, developers have been left hanging and are now scrambling to develop their own solutions to keep their apps from breaking.
Over the past few months, Google has axed a long list of products it offers, which isn't helping users feel confident in relying on the company's offerings. The company also killed off the desktop version of Snapseed, which was an amazing image enhancement utility for the Mac and Windows.
On the demise of Google Reader, company Software Engineer Alan Green said, "There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we're pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience."
Focus is great, but letting customers rely on your products only to shut them down time and again isn't the way build trust. The message Google is sending now is, "Stick with the services and apps you're already using because after you're dependent on ours we'll shut them down."
The little twist of irony here is that Google Keep may well be a service that the company plans to keep around long term. Google already culls scads of information from its users through their Gmail accounts and Web browsing activities, and Google Now gives the company a way to track user's day to day activities, too. Google Keep could provide more information about user's interests that proves valuable since it will give the Internet search giant yet another way to peer our lives.
Thanks to the diminishing level of trust users have in Google, the company could have a hard time drawing in as many Keep users as it wants. That, of course, assumes the vast majority of Google users pay attention to which products have been axed over time -- and the reality is that the vast majority of Google users probably don't know or care.
In the end, Google will probably get plenty of users for Keep while those of us that follow the company's decisions will stay away. And in a couple years we may be telling our friends that hopped on the Keep bandwagon that we saw the end of the line coming.
[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]