Google closes 10 services in 'spring clean'
Google has closed 10 services so it can focus resources on ‘higher-impact products’.
The services being closed by Google include Aardvark, a social network-powered question-and-answer search tool, Fast Flip, an experiment in displaying news content online, and Notebook, a note-taking and URL-clipping service.
In a post on Google’s blog, Alan Eustace, senior vice president, said: “Over the next few months we’ll be shutting down a number of products and merging others into existing products as features. [...] This will make things much simpler for our users, improving the overall Google experience. It will also mean we can devote more resources to high impact products—the ones that improve the lives of billions of people.”
He added: “We’ll continue to take risks on interesting new technologies with a lot of potential. But by targeting our resources more effectively, we can focus on building world-changing products with a truly beautiful user experience.”
Other services being discontinued by Google include Desktop, which the company says has been superseded by cloud computing, Google Pack, the company’s bundle of downloadable software, and Sidewiki, a collaborative approach to annotating websites.
Google Maps API for Flash, Google Web Security, Image Labeler and Subscribed Links are the other services to be closed.
Aardvark founders Max Ventilla and Damon Horowitz said that Google+ had taken on some of the role performed by their service. In a blogpost, they wrote: “We’ve been excited to share these lessons within Google over the past year, especially as part of the effort behind Google+.
“It has been gratifying to see how well this project is doing — even in these early stages, Google+ has already become a great place to share knowledge online, eclipsing the original vark.com! — and there is much more to come very soon.”