Google just announced yet another batch of services it plans to discontinue in the near future. Most of these are relatively obscure products that probably didn’t have a large amount of traction. In this round, Google is shutting down three products, as well as a number of company blogs that had become redundant or just weren’t updated very frequently. The products include Google Apps for Teams, Google Listen and Google Video For Business. This round of shutdowns comes just a few weeks after Google also closed relatively popular services like iGoogle and Google Video.
Google launched Google Apps for teams in 2008 and the tool allowed businesses and schools to use non-email services like Google Docs without having to sign up for a Google email address. This service, Google said today, was not as useful for people as [it] originally anticipated” and starting September 4, Google Apps for Teams accounts will be turned into personal Google Accounts.
Google Listen started as a Google Labs project and was a way for people to find and listen to podcasts. Google Play now offers so many podcast listening apps that the company has decided to shut Listen down on November 1. Current users will be able to listen to their existing podcast subscriptions in Google Reader. Google last updated this service earlier this year, but even then, it was already clear that this service was mostly an afterthought for the company.
As for Google Video for Business, which allowed Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education users to host videos for internal use in their organizations, Google has decided to migrate all of these videos to Google Drive where they will be stored free and won’t count against a user’s Google Drive storage quota.
Since last year, Google either donated, merged or shut down 50 products in this “spring cleaning campaign” that started after Larry Page took over as the company’s CEO from Eric Schmidt. The idea here, says Google, is to “focus on the high-impact products that millions of people use, multiple times a day” and not to waste resource on underutilized products so the company can build a “better Google.”
Here is our running list of products that Google closed over the last few months:
Google Bookmarks Lists, Google Friend Connect, iGoogle, Google Video, Google Symbian Search App, Google Talk Chatback, Google Mini, Google Gears, Google Search Timeline, Google Wave, Knol, Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE<C), Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip, Google Maps API for Flash, Google Pack, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook, Sidewiki, Subscribed Links, Google Flu Vaccine Finder, Google Related, Google Sync for BlackBerry, mobile web app for Google Talk, One Pass, Patent Search, Picasa for Linux, Picasa Web Albums Uploader for Mac and Picasa Web Albums Plugin for iPhoto, and all Slide products.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...