Google Shutdowns Aardvark, Desktop, Google Pack and More in Major Clean Up!

Late June, Google introduced the world to their new social network namely Google Plus. With the new social network the demands are high on Google and its resources as they have started closing down services and products which were not very popular.

Back in April they decided on shutting down Google Videos, then dropped support for Google Labs and finally Google Toolbar. Google admits it was closing down these services mainly to concentrate energies on Google+.

Yesterday, Google announced a fresh round of major clean up of services. They are now closing down 10 services which were probably not as popular as Google might have hoped.


Some Notable Closures

#1. Aardvark

This service was meant for users to ask questions and crowd source the answers. The idea was intelligent but for it to be a success it needed a lot more participation from users than was clear. Also social network now support such features which probably sounded the death knell for Aardvark.

#2. Fast Flip

The service was used to give that newspaper reading feel to Google News. The service never got adopted but it set standards for better and richer content display on the net. It may be closed down as a service but its features will probably live on in other services.

#3. Google Maps API Flash

Google will drop support for Google Maps API Flash. It will start supporting and develop more on JavaScript Maps API. This is yet another service dumping Flash.

#4. Google Pack

Google Pack was usually a way to download all required software on your desktop. Google feels that thanks to web apps there is not need for software to be downloaded onto the computer. This is in obvious reference towards its own Chrome OS. I will miss this service at it was very useful to download software in one go.

#5. Sidewiki

Google Sidewiki allowed people to comment on any website. It was a feature used via a bookmarklet or the Google Toolbar. This service never took off and actually gained notoriety because it allowed users to comment on a website without the webmasters having any control over them.

Other services that are being closed down are Desktop, Google Web Security, Image Labeler, Notebook and Subscribed Links.

Hopefully many of these services like Aardvark will live on as a feature of Google+ in the future as a lot of ideas behind these services were really good but as standalone products they did not have much of a chance.

Do drop in your comments.


Anand Kumar September 4, 2011

Interesting!! Lets create an app.. and hope Google will acquire it some day and will shut down after one or two years.. ha.. ha.. ha..

They will have nothing but you will be millionaire. Why Google is shutting down all these apps.

Aditya Kane September 4, 2011

@Anand Kumar: That is indeed a intereating way to become a millionaire. But on a more serious note, I guess all companies have to admit their mistakes and atleast Google;s mistakes are not as bad as Yahoo’s.