Over the last year, Google’s been busy cleaning up its product catalogue, axing a number of services including Picnik, Slide, Boutiques, Google Desktop, and Google Labs. And now a handful of others are getting the same treatment: today Google announced that Google Video, iGoogle, Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback, and the Google Symbian Search App will all be phased out.
Obviously the most notable of the shutdowns are Google Video and iGoogle – both of which have seen better days. Google Video hasn’t been useful for quite awhile, and Google’s YouTube acquisition has subsumed all video media needs for the platform anyway. Google Video hasn’t even been accepting uploads for over two years now.
iGoogle is also a product of days past. The custom homepage application allowed users to personalize their portal to the Internet with their Gmail account, news, weather widgets, etc; it was the first stop before launching out into the rest of the Worldwide Web. It’s become something of a relic as users are turning en masse to new apps that quantify and classify their increasing time spent online.
But some people aren’t quite ready to let go, like the members of the “Save iGoogle from shutdown on November 1st, 2013!” Facebook group. To be fair, iGoogle was once one of the fastest growing product under the Google umbrella.
The goodbyes for Google Mini (an enterprise search app), Google Talk Chatback (a chat widget being replaced by the Meebo acquisition), and the Symbian Search App (this should be self-explanatory) are much quieter, and for good reason.
In case the shutdowns come as a shock, Google has been attempting to unify its Web products while simultaneously focusing on streamlining its various platforms. Part of Google’s weakness has been in going for quantity instead of quality, a wrong the company clearly wants to try and right.