Google Axes Unpopular Applications


Google announced plans to end support for a variety of Web-based applications such as Google Video, Google Notebook and Google Catalog Search.

While it may be hard to dispute Google’s ubiquity in daily online life, not everything the Mountain View, Californian.-based company touches turns to gold. On various company blogs late Wednesday, Google announced it will stop supporting several Web-based services, including Google Video, Google Notebook and, a mobile social networking service that lets users share their location with friends via text message.

Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice president of engineering, stated  that the company will also be porting Jaiku, a micro-blogging site, over to Google App Engine. “After the migration is complete, we will release the new open source Jaiku Engine project on Google Code under the Apache License,” he wrote. “While Google will no longer actively develop the Jaiku codebase, the service itself will live on thanks to a dedicated and passionate volunteer team of Googlers.”

Other applications that didn’t make the cut include the Mashup Editor, currently in limited private beta, and Google Catalog Search, an application that makes it possible to search the full text of product catalogs. “In recent years, Catalog Search hasn’t been as popular as some of our other products,” product manager Punit Soni explained in a blog post. “So tomorrow, we’re bidding it a fond farewell and focusing our efforts to bring more and more types of offline information such as magazines, newspapers and of course, books, online.”

Google Notebook, an application that lets users organise clips of information when conducting research online, will also stop receiving support, wrote product manager Raj Krishnan. However, Google will continue to maintain service for those users who have already signed up. Krishnan also listed other Google applications that have Notebook-like functionality, such as SearchWiki and GoogleDocs.

The decision to discontinue upload support for Google Video may have been determined due to the application’s redundancy—Google bought the ubiquitous video hosting and sharing site YouTube in November 2006.

“Don’t worry, we’re not removing any content hosted on Google Video — this just means you will no longer be able to upload new content to the service,” product manager Michael Cohen wrote in a blog post. “We’ve always maintained that Google Video’s strength is in the search technology that makes it possible for people to search videos from across the Web, regardless of where they may be hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.”

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