In what is being called the third installment of their “off-season spring cleaning series”, Google announced more products are being terminated or integrated in to other products.
“Overall, our aim is to build a simpler, more intuitive, truly beautiful Google user experience.” From some of the moves, that beauty must be in the eyes of holders of Google+ accounts and supporters of HTML5.
Knol, Google’s version of Wikipedia, has had problems, both technical and in gaining traction. Interestingly, they have passed the project along to Annotum, an open source platform developed with Solvitor and Crowd Favorite using WordPress – not Blogger, Google’s own blogging software.
“Knol will work as usual until April 30, 2012, and you can download your knols to a file and/or migrate them to WordPress.com. From May 1 through October 1, 2012, knols will no longer be viewable, but can be downloaded and exported. After that time, Knol content will no longer be accessible.”
Gears, which Google halted support for last March, will no longer be available for download sometime in December. Instead there will be support for HTML5 to include offline capabilities.
Friend Connect, Google’s social networking widget platform, is also another product to be shelved. The company is “retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012. We encourage affected sites to create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on their site so they can bring their community of followers to Google+ and use new features like Circles and Hangouts to keep in touch.”
Guess the sign in processes and connections made through the widgets are not as important as driving people to Google+. The Social Web blog associated with Friend Connect had closed in September, a good indication the products it discussed were to be closed as well.
Google Wave, which has not been supported for more than a year, will be read only on January 31, 2012 and closed completely April 30. “You’ll be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off.”
Last year, Marissa Mayer, vice president of location and local services, called Wave one of Google’s top three mistakes.
Other products being closed include Google Search Timeline, Google Bookmarks Lists, and Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal. 2011 has been a year of numerous shutdowns for Google. With about six weeks left in the year, these should be the last, unless Google plans on closing Christmas.