It’s spring cleaning time at Google, an in-house initiative launched a couple of years ago. What that means is that the search engine giant’s either killing or combining some of its ‘older’ products and offerings that are losing steam into newer products and services. This time around Google is pulling the plug on iGoogle, Google Video and Google Mini, among a couple of other aging Google products.
Google is also shutting down its Symbian Search App (bad luck, Symbian users) and Google Talk Chatback (a live-chatting tool that could be embedded in websites) service.
In a blog post, Google provided further information on the phased shutdown of all these services. Google Mini is retiring at the end of this month, while iGoogle (perhaps the most popular service of the bunch) will be killed by November, 2013.
Some of Google’s proposed spring-cleaning decisions make sense, others not so much.
Google Video started as a video search engine in 2005 and subsequently morphed into a free video-sharing website. But it soon lost steam after Google acquired YouTube in 2006, and since 2009 there has been no new addition to Google Video. So you can understand Google pulling the plug on this one.
However, iGoogle is a personalized web page for Google users, fully customizable with useful widgets of information, a service believed to be quite popular among users. Google’s decision to shutdown iGoogle is therefore a little puzzling. The phasing out of Google Talk Chatback (granted a small and insignificant service in Google’s grand scheme of things) will take away the ability from various webmasters to engage their website visitors through a nice and simple chat widget.
Google Mini (an Enterprise Search offering) will be substituted by other Google products like Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search and Google Commerce Search. All existing Google Video files will be moved over to YouTube as private videos, if users don’t migrate or download their content by August 20, Google said.