Google Axes Underused Services

Google yesterday announced the closure of five more of its services as its cull of web-entities no longer deemed core to its business model continues.

The sweeping cuts by the search giant have become increasingly regular ever since co-founder Larry Page was installed as Google CEO and yesterday saw the axing of video streaming service Google Video, personalised homepage offering iGoogle, as well as Google Talk Chatback, Google Mini and Google’s Symbian Search App.

Whilst the culling of the Symbian search tool is understandable given the gradual decline of the mobile OS owing to proprietor Nokia’s recent commitment to Microsoft’s Windows Phone, the mothballing of iGoogle and the like has raised a few eyebrows within industry circles.

However, with the increasing uptake of smartphone use and the connectivity options they offer, coupled with the changing web habits of users, it could be said that there is no longer the need for a personalised entry point to the web now that a myriad of homescreen widgets and apps provide the same service in a more streamlined and accessible manner.

The internet giant said via the Official Google Blog that iGoogle will be removed from service on 13 November 2013, giving users ample time to export their data elsewhere.

Google Video’s unceremonious dumping has proven less of a surprise given it has spent the majority of its existence overshadowed by the hugely popular Google-owned YouTube. Google Video actually stopped accepting uploads back in May 2009 and will shutdown fully on 20 August – Google advises users to port videos over to YouTube to avoid losing their uploads.

The lesser-known Google Talk Chatback (a Google Talk widget for websites) and Google Mini, an enterprise appliance in service since 2005, are also set to disappear from its roster. Google says it will honour its existing contracts for Mini customers and urges users of Google Talk Chatback to try recent acquisition Meebo.

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