Google have announced they are winding down another batch of products, bringing the total to nearly 60 since they started ‘spring’ cleaning last Fall.
Their aim is to better focus on products by removing those which are either unpopular, superseded by other products or no longer worth the costs of ongoing development and support.
Google Storage – The storage of Google Picasa and Google Drive will be consolidated over the next few months. Previously Drive offered 5GB of free storage and Picasa offered 1GB – the new arrangement means that users will have a combined limit of 5GB free storage across both services.
Whilst this is a decrease of 1GB in the overall total offered, Google do say that “people at or near their current storage limits will have the same amount of storage after this change”.
That suggests that users who already have almost 6GB of data stored may be unaffected by this change (i.e. won’t lose some of their data) but, presumably, if their total combined storage ever drops below 5GB in the future they will not be able to go above the new limit again.
AdSense for Feeds – This was designed to help publishers earn revenue from their content by placing ads on their RSS feeds. I’m not surprised this one is biting the dust as it always seemed a poor idea (TechLogon never used it) – the aim of RSS feeds is surely to entice subscribers into reading the full article, not to turn them off by plastering adverts over the feed summaries…
Starting tomorrow Google will begin to retire this feature – and close it on December 3rd.
Classic Plus – This Google Search feature let people upload or select images to use as a background on Google.com – users won’t be able to upload new pictures starting from October 16, and Google will turn the service off in November 2012.
Spreadsheet Gadgets – These were designed to allow people to add customized features to Google Spreadsheets. Google will start turning off Gadgets in Spreadsheets next year.
Google News Badges – Starting on October 15, Google will stop issuing and displaying these, as well as showing ‘Recommended Sections’.
Insights for Search – This has been merged into a revamped ‘Google Trends’. Trends for Websites (which allowed people to compare traffic to and audiences of different websites) will no longer be supported.
Places Directory – This was an Android app that helped people find nearby places of interest. It has been removed from Google Play and the Places Directory website will be taken down because Google Maps for Mobile should offer a better user experience.
Google Plus +1 Reports in Webmaster Tools – These helped publishers measure +1 activity on their pages. However, Social Reports in Google Analytics give a wider view of social activity (and include +1’s), so the stand-alone +1 Reports will be discontinued on November 14.