Google Cuts Recruiters, Video, Notebook, Catalog Search and More
Google slashes 100 recruiters and several Web services, including Google Video, Google Catalogs, Google Notebook, Dodgeball and Mashup Editor. The search engine also moves Jaiku to App Engine under an Apache license and moves 70 engineers from three facilities to others. The moves come a week before Google's fourth quarter and 2008 fiscal year earnings release.
Two weeks into the new year and the "dark matter" projects Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company would eliminate have continued to come to the fore, paired with the layoff of 100 recruiters and the move of 70 engineers to other facilities.
After shuttering its Lively virtual reality, SearchMash and Research DataSets late last year, Google Jan. 14 said it is shutting down: Google Video, Google Notebook, Google Catalogs, the Dodgeball mobile social networking service and the Google Mashup Editor.
The company's Jaiku service, an alternative to wildly popular Twitter, is being moved to Google App Engine, with its code being released as an open-source project on Google Code under an Apache License, Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering wrote in a blog post.
Programmers will then be able to use the open source Jaiku Engine project to create their own microblogging services and deploy them on Google App Engine. Incidentally, it is in favor of the more advanced App Engine that Mashup Editor is being nixed. Mashup Editor applications will stop receiving traffic in six months, so users should get ready to move to App Engine.
Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan details the closures here, while TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb weigh in.
RWW's Frederic Lardinois notes that the Google Video closure is hardly a shocker given the success of YouTube, while the darkening of Google's Catalogs may not draw too many tears. He expressed sadness that Google Notebook, Jaiku and Dodgeball are withering away because they had potential.
Not enough potential, perhaps, to escape Schmidt's informal "dark matter" list. Schmidt drew attention last December after telling the Wall Street Journal Google would curb the dark matter, or projects that either aren't exciting or haven't caught on.
These are arguably projects that could also take more away from the bottom line than it could add to it. These sites didn't make much money and Google can't justify paying engineers to float and extend them.