Google Plus is the new Wave
Okay, okay, the pun is bad. But still. If you managed to enter Google Plus, and was a user of Google Wave before, the similarities are insanely obvious. And I'm pretty sure I understand better now what happened to Google Wave.
In one of my previous entries, I ranted about how Google let Wave died. But I was wrong. They didn't let it die, they had an internal struggle within Google about where to go and what to do.
I'm pretty sure that was happened is the following: Google Wave was seen by some as the "new e-mail" standard, and they were trying to establish protocols and make it as open as possible so to let others to integrate with them, just as I described before, but others were seeing Google Wave as a good candidate for Google's social platform, given how they went to integrate a lot of social widgets into it, and how they tried to let it as closed-source as possible. And, yes, gmail being the second major Google product, why would they want to kill it ? But Orkut being a failure, they needed something to compete with Facebook.
So of course, these two conflicting ideas weren't possible. Which is why they "let Google Wave go", into the open, as an Apache project, so it may very well become the next e-mail platform. But internally, people continued working from the original Google Wave design, and pushed the social aspect even further. That project eventually became Google Plus. There's really no doubt about it: that is the vision some of the Googlers had when they saw Google Wave as a social network, and not as a communication platform. And quite frankly, it's great. I'm now grateful that they turned away from Google Wave, letting it grow outside of Google, and that they created Google Plus instead. This is a major, awesome upgrade from the Facebook+Twitter experience. It feels good and the sensation of control over your data is fantastic.
Good job Google, and good luck.