As Google shifts its social focus to Google+, there doesn’t seem to be room for some of the company's older social efforts—even the very expensive ones.
AllThingsD reported yesterday that Google is shutting down Slide, the social apps company it bought just last year for $182 million. Its founder, Max Levchin, who became Google’s vice president of engineering after the acquisition, is also leaving the company. Levchin had previously co-founded PayPal and is chairman of the board of Yelp.
Slide, which was founded in 2005, developed Facebook apps like SuperPoke!, Pets, and Top Friends. When it was acquired by Google in 2008 as a way for the company to get a handle on the social Web, Slide continued to function independently, maintaining its existing apps and working on new ones like messaging app Disco and recently released photo-sharing app Photovine, none of which proved especially popular.
As Google put all of its social weight behind Google+ and CEO Larry Page streamlined the company, the autonomous Slide team was left out. Its Facebook apps had also lost their luster, overshadowed by offerings from Zynga and other developers.
A source said that some of Slide’s 100-person team will likely move to YouTube. In addition to Levchin, Slide head of product Jared Fliesler also plans to leave Google. Fliesler has accepted a new position with his former Slide colleague Keith Rabois at payment startup Square, sources said.
All of Slide’s apps—except for social contest site Prizes.org—will be phased out over the next few weeks.