In order to streamline its offering, the Internet giant is to retire some services.

Charlie Osborne | cnet

Google has said it will be retiring three services and trimming the number of blogs it uses to communicate its plans.

The search giant made the announcement through the official Google blog, in a post by Director of Engineering Max Ibel. As well as retiring some services he said Google will close a number of official blogs and other communication channels. Updates will now take place on the most popular of the more than 150 blogs the company currently maintains, as a number of them are quietly closed down.

So, what products are now facing the axe?

Google Apps for Teams: Introduced in 2008, Google App users or connected school and college users who possessed a verified email were able to collaborate on projects using non-email apps including Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Talk. However, the product was “not as useful for people as we originally anticipated,” Ibel said, and so it will be closing its doors this year.

Beginning on September 4, 2012, existing Google Apps for Teams accounts will be converted into personal Google accounts.

Google Video for Business: The video hosting and sharing platform was provided for Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education users. It was designed in order for organisations to “use video for internal communication”, but starting this fall, any media which is hosted on Google Video for Business will be migrated over to Google Drive — rather than the public platform YouTube.

However, any migrated videos will not affect a user’s storage quota, and will be hosted for free.

Finally, Google Listen: Launched through Google Labs in late 2009, the product was originally intended for users to discover and listen to new podcasts. However, the app will cease to function after November 1. The reason? Google Play has overtaken the service by offering a number of podcasts apps, so Google Listen has been made redundant.

If you have any subscriptions through Google Listen, they can be downloaded through Google Reader.

Last September, the company announced a number of closures, including Aardvark, Google Desktop, Fast Flip, Google Notebook and Sidewiki. Google also plans to retire iGoogle on November 1 2013.


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