Google continues spring cleaning, scraps more services

Google has continued cleaning out the trash. The company has announced plans to scrap more services, including Google Video, as it continues slimming down and focusing on core products under chief executive Larry Page.

Over the past 18 months the company has been shutting down more and more services. Back in November, the company got rid of Buzz, Code Search and the University Research Program.

In September last year, the search giant abandoned Aardvark – which it bought for a reported $50 million back in 2010.

In a blog post today, the company said it would be undertaking another “spring cleaning”, getting rid of more services, including the video service that preceded Google’s acquisition of YouTube in 2006.

“Technology creates tremendous opportunities to improve people’s lives. But to make the most of them, we need to focus – or we end up doing too much and not having the impact we strive for.”

“So last fall we started a spring clean, and since then we’ve closed or combined more than 30 products.”

The slimming process began last year, when Page introduced the idea that products should come under three key categories. The business had been criticised for buying too many companies outside its core focus and becoming bloated.

Google Mini, a type of integrated hardware and software solution for businesses, is now being scrapped, with the company saying its functions can be better provided by its Appliance Search and Commerce Search products.

Google Talk Chatback was an ability for websites to embed Google Talk widgets. That’s now gone, while the personalised iGoogle page will also be scrapped. Google says the site was made in 2005, “before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today’s web and mobile apps would put personalised, real-time information at your fingertips”.

One big change is Google Video. It stopped taking uploads all the way back in 2009, but it still remained useable. Now, it’s gone forever, and users have until August 20 to migrate or download their content. All the other content will then be shifted to YouTube.

The company’s Symbian Search App is also being retired.

“Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users,” Google said in the blog.

While most of the changes have been small, others have been quite large. Buzz, which the company once touted as the “future of email”, has now been abandoned, while Aardvark – co founded by Australian entrepreneur Ben Keighran – has also been left behind despite a price tag worth millions.


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