Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator for new and innovative experiments together with Google’s AR division recently became known as “Google Labs”, and with it, it seems there is some “spring cleaning” occurring quite a bit before the proper season. In an announcement today, the Museletter Team stated that it’s shuttering the service on December 20th, 2021. Shortly thereafter, it will delete the website and the limited data it has, like its email list, to finish the process.
For those who are unfamiliar, Museletter is a service that only spun up about three months ago and aimed to let users publicly publish and monetize their Google Drive content in blog format. It was a fantastic and neat idea, but for some reason, it’s not carrying on in its current form.
As you can see in the promotional materials, the user would have a public-facing profile that would let others “subscribe” to them for updates and a wall of free or member’s content that could be accessed and reminiscent of a social media feed. The content creator could set their own price for membership and would be able to make a little cash and build an audience on their work.
One thing to keep in mind is that any and all projects that come out of “Area 120”, or Google Labs comes with a warning label. They are specifically created so that the team can safely experiment with new ideas without affecting core Google products. Then, if they prove to be successful or popular with users, the components of those experiments are incorporated as new features in said Google products and rolled out to the masses.
I really was looking forward to Museletter, and there’s still incredible to believe it was canned before it was even released for use at all. While this news may be disappointing, Google still believes in the promise of “new content distribution and monetization”, so with all that it’s learned from building this tool, it has plans to use its newfound knowledge toward other efforts.