Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Video, the online video service that pre-dated Google's acquisition of YouTube, is going away as part of a general housecleaning at the giant searchware firm.
It isn't a sudden death. No new clips have been accepted on Google Video since May 2009--obviously, after Google spent $1.76 billion for YouTube in 2006--and, as the summer winds down, so will any content remaining on the site. By the end of summer everything will move to YouTube as Google Video users hit an Aug. 20 deadline to delete or transfer their clips to another location.
The death of Google Video is only one of about 30 products co-founder and CEO Larry Page has pruned lately as he focuses the company on search, advertising, video, social networking and mobile devices. Note, for those interested, that focus apparently does not include cable set-top boxes or equipment purchased and incorporated from Motorola Mobility. There's an ongoing story and drama there.
"Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users. Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people's lives," Matt Eichner, Google's general manager of global enterprise search, wrote in a blog post.
Anyway, among the bigger pieces on which the page has turned is iGoogle, a customization service that allows users to personalize their home pages with weather, stock quotes and more information. That service will be shuttered--or in the more electronic world, turned off--in November 2013. A mobile version is going away by the end of this month.
iGoogle has been around for a while. First developed eight years ago as a way to encourage users to hone in on Google for specific information, it also attracted more individual Google accounts which, in turn, gave the company a free road to target users and their individual interests. Its day, though, has apparently passed--no doubt helped along by the emergence of Google Chrome.
"We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today's web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time, so we'll be winding it down. Users will have 16 months to adjust or export their data," Eichner wrote.
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