Google has been cleaning up its operations for more than a year now. But it’s far from done; it’s now announcing several more closures and shutdowns. Granted, it’s nothing big, these are just small and underutilized options or products.
It’s also shutting down some of its blogs, ones that don’t get updated that often and which can be merged into other existing blogs. Of course, Google’s is using Google+ for plenty of announcements these days, so it has less need for a blog.
“We work every day to create a more seamless, beautiful user experience—to give you a better, easier-to-use Google. This means continuously improving the products we offer, and recognizing when users of one product might have a better experience with another,” Google explained the move.
“Over the past year, we’ve made changes to around 50 products, features and services—donating, merging and shutting things down so we can focus on the high-impact products that millions of people use, multiple times a day,” it said.
The first thing to go is Google Apps for Teams. This service enabled people with verified emails to work together using tools from the Apps suite, Docs, Calendar, Talk and so on.
It was a way of using Apps without actually signing up for it. Users only needed to have email addresses from the same domain to work together, with no need for the IT team to get involved.
But it seems that Apps for Teams wasn’t that popular so Google is shutting it down and converting existing accounts into personal Google accounts. This will start on September 4, this year.
Also on the kill list is Google Listen, a podcast listening app. Given that there are plenty of podcast apps out there and that podcasts haven’t exactly taken the world by storm, Google’s decision is an understandable one.
Google Video for Business, an Apps tool which enabled companies and schools to share videos is also being shut down. All the existing videos will be transferred to Google Drive and will not count towards the storage quota. Given that Drive supports sharing and storing files of any type and has an in-line video player, borrowed from YouTube, the change shouldn’t be that painful.