Continuing with the trend of streamlining its operations and focusing on a few profitable ventures, Google has announced that it will be closing down half a dozen Google services including the popular photo editing software Picnik which it acquired almost two years ago. This process of focusing operations on a few select businesses has seen the company dropping several under-performing businesses from its portfolio over the last six months. Some of the noted withdrawals have been Google Buzz, Google Labs and Google Health.
In a recent blog post, Google’s Vice President Dave Girouard announced that the latest cuts are a result of the company’s decision to build better services and enhance user experience. Girouard went on to say that this process involves phasing out products which replicate certain features and deciding whether they fit into the Google experience or not. Picnik is probably the most famous of these services. Google bought the online photo editing software back in March 2010 and have finalised plans to end it by April 19th this year. However, Picnik isn’t going to disappear completely, with Google integrating its photo editing features in other Google products like Google Plus. Existing Picnik users have the option of downloading their data in the form of a zip file or migrating it to Google Plus. Until the service shuts down, Google has decided to offer the premium service for free and those who have already subscribed to the same have been promised a refund.
Another service that Google will be dropping is Social Graph. Designed as an application programming interface (API), this service provides developers with tools to utilize information between public connections. The reason Google gave for dropping the API is that the service didn’t garner as much adoption as the company had hoped. Social Graph is expected to shut down at the same time as Picnik.
Adding further to the list of Google’s ‘dropouts’ is Google Message Continuity. Designed as an email disaster recovery software (targeted at corporate customers), this service was launched in December 2010. Google has decided to push its App business instead. Other announcements include the integration of Needlebase (a data management platform) with other data-related initiatives under Google. Google has also decided to close its web analytics product, Urchin software, as well as Google Sky Maps for Android.