Looks like Google Tags wasn’t the only product on the chopping block today — now Google Video, the mostly-forgotten service that was once YouTube’s rival, is getting the axe too.
Google just sent out an email to users who have previously uploaded content to the service informing them that on April 29 2011, the site will no longer host any more videos. Users are being encouraged to download and reupload their files to YouTube. The news was first reported yesterday by CenterNetworks.
Google actually stopped allowing uploads to Google Video back in May 2009, but existing videos have played fine until now. The news will likely frustrate some people, as Google’s help page assured users that while uploads were being disabled, their content “would remain hosted by Google Video”.
The writing has been on the wall for a long time now. Google Video launched back in 2005 — you originally had to upload footage using a desktop client instead of a web form — and was selling premium content as early as January 2006. But rival site YouTube came out of nowhere to become a viral phenomenon, which prompted Google to acquire it in October 2006.
Here’s the letter that’s being sent out:
Dear Google Video User,
Later this month, hosted video content on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and now we’re removing the remaining hosted content. We’ve always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its ability to let people search videos from across the web, regardless of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.
On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback. We’ve added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don’t want to download your content, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)
We encourage you to move to your content to YouTube if you haven’t done so already. YouTube offers many video hosting options including the ability to share your videos privately or in an unlisted manner. To learn more go here.
Here’s how to download your videos:
Go to the Video Status page.
To download a video to your computer, click the Download Video link located on the right side of each of your videos in the Actions column.
Once a video has been downloaded, “Already Downloaded” will appear next to the Download Video link.
If you have many videos on Google Video, you may need to use the paging controls located on the bottom right of the page to access them all.
Please note: This download option will be available through May 13, 2011.
Thank you for being a Google Video user.
The Google Video Team