'Killed by Google' strikes again as Currents app will merge into Spaces

Google Spaces Hero
Google Spaces Hero (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is "planning to wind down Google Currents," an enterprise app meant to allow coworkers to share ideas and information with one another.
  • Google will import Currents into Google Spaces, a workroom app that syncs with your Google Workspace apps, by 2023.
  • Currents only left beta in mid-2020, making it particularly short-lived.

Google loves to throw apps at the wall, see what sticks, then scrape up the failures and throw them onto the successes as a garnish. It's taken that approach with its messaging apps, reader apps, and productivity apps, among others. On Thursday, Google announced that Google Currents would be the latest tool to get frankensteined onto another service.

Currents, originally the branding for a social magazine app replaced by Google Play Newsstand in 2013, later became a G Suite app where users could "have meaningful discussions and interactions" by sharing information and tagging people in a collaborative space (similar to a Slack channel). Announced in 2019, it replaced Google+ in July 2020.

Now, Google plans to pivot more of its efforts to Google Spaces and transition Currents users into its new ecosystem. It will "bring remaining content and communities over to the new Spaces experience" by 2023, though a specific month isn't given.

Google Currents

Source: Google (Image credit: Source: Google)

"If your organization is using Currents, we'll share a timeline for opting in to data migration and other milestones in the coming months, as well as guidance to assist with the transition," Google says.

The Verge spotted a migration help page saying it would remove "rarely used" features like popular tags, follower counts, push notifications, and post analytics in "Q1 2022."

Ironically, Google killed Spaces in 2017 just a year after launching it as a Slack competitor, then replaced Google Rooms with Google Spaces in 2021. Used in tandem with Google Chat, these Spaces also function much like Slack Channels, only with better incorporation of other Google Workspace apps like Docs and Sheets for collaborative editing.

People preparing to transition from Currents to Spaces can find the new service on Gmail between Chat and Meet. It supports in-line topic threading, presence indicators, custom statuses, reactions, collapsible views, and the ability to link to and integrate files and tasks within the chat.

Google Currents has over 6 million ratings on the Play Store, which seems to show a decent level of engagement for any app. But evidently, it wasn't enough to help it escape Google's graveyard.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.