Every now and then Google invokes its ‘streamlining’ programme and these next few weeks sees the end of another set of apps and sites that many will have used on their journey across the web.
As Google admits, over the past year it has “made changes to around 50 products, features and services”. The aim is to enable resources to be better focused on the “high-impact products that millions of people use, multiple times a day.”
Leaving the scene is Google Apps for Teams four years after its launch. One of the first mainstream online collaboration tools for apps such as Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. Limited to those on a same domain and for those without a Google account, the system has since been over-taken by the functionality of normal Google Apps and any existing accounts will be converted to standard Google accounts that can benefit from other versions of Google Apps.
Also departing is Google Listen launched through Google Labs in August 2009 designed to embrace the rice of podcasts. However, the rise of smartphones has all but ended demand, with apps for podcasts now filling Google Play and iTunes stores. For those still using it however, existing subscriptions will remain available via Google Reader.
Perhaps, the product that most will have used that is now nearing the end of its life is Google Video for Business. The video hosting and sharing programme enabled video as an affordable and accessible internal communications tool for many businesses and education establishments.
However, again with the change in technology and video communication tools such as Google Hangouts and Skype in widespread use, it is no longer in demand. The functionality is to be absorbed into Google Drive with the search giant pledging migrated videos won’t impact on Drive storage allowances.
Don’t expect that to be the end of these functions completely however, as already indicated many of them have already been consumed and merged with other Google products that have survived the latest cull. Others will be thrown back into the mix and you can be sure that some of them will be seen again, slightly altered and noticeably tweaked but obviously a result of things learned from their previous incarnations.
The ‘failed’ social networks of Buzz and Wave eventually returned in a form, as Google + and if we are to believe the hype that is a slow-burner that is changing the way we do social networking.
There are still 100s of remaining Google products, many with very bespoke user bases. There will also surely be more to come. What Google products no longer with us do you most miss? What Google products do you still use that many wouldn’t have heard of? I’d like to hear from you.