Google Axes iGoogle, Chatback & Google Mini

In another of what Google calls their “spring cleaning” announcements, the web/mobile/media/social/search giant revealed more services are getting the axe, including their personalized homepage, iGoogle.

“With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding it down,” wrote Matt Eichner, GM of Global Enterprise Search. Users have until November 1, 2013, to export their data, but the mobile version will be retired July 31 of this month.

The imminent death of iGoogle, he wrote, is part of their need to focus (that’s an understatement) and comes after 30 other products have closed or been folded into other Google services since last fall. And there are already plenty of complaints from upset iGoogle users, Search Engine Roundtable reported.

igoogle

The iGoogle service, officially announced in 2007, allows users to create a personalized dashboard with "gadgets" such as headlines, weather, games, movie showtimes, and more. The personalized home page debuted two years before that and was touted as Google's fastest growing product in 2006.

Also on the chopping block this time around:

  • Google Mini: The intranet search appliance capable of indexing up to 300,000 documents for small to mid-sized businesses is being discontinued, as of July 31. Those already using Minis will continue to get tech support for the duration of their contracts. “We’re discontinuing the product because its functionality can be better provided by products like Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search and Google Commerce Search,” Eichner wrote.
  • Google Talk Chatback: Google is shutting down their Google Talk website widget in favor of the Meebo bar. This makes sense, considering Google recently paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million to acquire social platform Meebo.
  • Google’s Symbian Search App: The search app for Symbian smartphones is another casualty, though Google did not release a firm closing date, only saying it will be retiring “soon.”
  • Google Video: Though it’s been dead in the water since Google stopped allowing new uploads back in 2009, content from Google’s original video site hasn’t yet been migrated to YouTube. On August 20, 2012, Google will make that move with any remaining videos. Users will be able to access their former Google Videos in the YouTube video manager; all videos will be set to private as the default once they’re migrated over.

About the author

A member of the Professional Writer's Association of Canada, Miranda has authored more than 60 e-books, 300 client projects, and thousands of articles and blog posts for clients ranging from SMBs to government agencies and Fortune 100 companies.

Miranda studied e-commerce at Athabasca University and specializes in marketing, business and educational material. She currently assists the Province of Ontario Ministries of Research & Innovation and Economic Development, Trade & Employment with their copywriting and SEO goals. She is one of a handful of Canadian consultants experienced with Ontario's new adult literacy curriculum framework and as such, is contracted by literacy agencies and publishing houses to develop new learning material.