Google Wave is a product that helps users communicate and collaborate on the web. A "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Google Wave is also a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves.
It's been a year since developers were underwhelmed by the first release of the Google Plus API. The search engine's nascent social network has gained in popularity and even improved its developer tools, but it is still lacking the main feature many developers request--a writable Google Plus API.
Google Wave was seen as one of the spectacular failures of 2010. While the product did not find resonance with the users, the underlying technology that was used in it has been winding its way to acceptance ranging from getting incubated in Apache and a new offering from Google labs named Google Shared Spaces.
Active development on Google Wave, a collaboration tool that used features of email, chat and document sharing, has been shut down. Google announced that the chief reason for discontinuing Wave was the low user adoption. The platform will live on within other Google projects, as well as the many portions of Wave that have been open sourced.