Technology companies are facing the same financial woes as every other sector of the economy, and certainly aren’t immune to cost-cutting and belt-tightening in efforts to keep afloat. Following reports in July, Last month, former online titan AOL announced it would be closing the doors on its little-used AOL Journals and AOL Hometown services; soon, it will begin informing customers that its Xdrive, AOL Pictures, and BlueString services will be going dark.
BlueString is a multimedia sharing and composition service, while Xdrive offers network-based storage and AOL Pictures offers online photo sharing.
According to sources within the company has well as a growing number of media reports, AOL plans to shutter the services in December. Users of all three services will be able to order DVDs with their files and content; users will also be able to pull their content down via the Internet. In the case of AOL Pictures, AOL has apparently struck a deal that will enable users to transfer their online photos to American Greetings’ PhotoWorks.
Two of the three services represent acquisitions AOL made in efforts to diversify its online offerings while transitioning from a closed-garden online service to a selection of free, ad-supported offerings: AOL bought Xdrive back in 2005, and acquired BlueString in 2007. AOL Pictures evolved from AOL’s original members-only You’ve Got Pictures service in late 2005.