Google is shutting down Aardvark, the Q&A service it bought last year for about $50 million. Aardvark was part of Google Labs. The company is planning on putting similar Q&A features into Google+, and has reassigned most of the Aardvark team to that project.
As part of the shutdown of GoogleLabs, Aardvark will be shutting down at the end of September. The statement below was published on Aardvark’s blog, signed by Max and Damon,
Aardvark began as a small experiment in a new kind of social search, and over a few years blossomed into a service that made millions of connections between people to answer each other’s questions. It was a great experience in seeking to combine a broad vision for the future of technology with a rigorous user-centered design process. Over this time, we learned a lot about creating and maintaining online communities, and how to facilitate sharing of knowledge between people.
We’ve been excited to share these lessons within Google over the past year, especially as part of the effort behind Google+. It has been gratifying to see how well this project is doing — even in these early stages, Google+ has already become a great place to share knowledge online, eclipsing the original vark.com! — and there is much more to come very soon. In this and other projects at Google, the Aardvark team remains committed to developing powerful tools for connecting people and improving access to information.
Of course, we’re also sad to say goodbye to the original Aardvark here at vark.com. Who would have thought that a digital version of a nocturnal burrowing mammal would have engendered so much affection! We’re very grateful to the whole Aardvark community for your support along the way.