Google to Shut-down 3 APIs

Andres Ferrate
Jan. 16 2009, 04:21AM EST

This week Google announced that it will discontinue development on some of its services, and in some instances, discontinue the services all together. According to the Google Code Blog, Jaiku, Dodgeball, and Mashup Editor will be affected by this decision; in addition, Google Video will no longer support uploads and Google Notebook will cease to accept new signups. The blogosphere has been abuzz with the news, and there are mixed reactions to the decision, although it seems like the general consensus is that Google trimmed its efforts on services that had either stalled, were redundant, or had failed to capture sufficient market share to make them worthwhile web properties. ReadWriteWeb, TechCrunch, Search Engine Land, Mashable, and CNET all have additional information on Google's news.

Below is a rundown of the news as reported by the respective Google blog for each service.

On Jaiku:

As we mentioned last April, we are in the process of porting Jaiku over to Google App Engine. After the migration is complete, we will release the new open source Jaiku Engine project on Google Code under the Apache License. While Google will no longer actively develop the Jaiku codebase, the service itself will live on thanks to a dedicated and passionate volunteer team of Googlers.

Besides our Jaiku API profile we also have examples of 10 Jaiku mashups that developers have built.

On Dodgeball (which did not offer an open API):

Some of you may also be familiar with Dodgeball.com, a mobile social networking service that lets you share your location with friends via text message. We have decided to discontinue Dodgeball.com in the next couple of months, after which this service will no longer be available. We will communicate the exact time-frame shortly.

On Mashup Editor:

As we announced today on the Google Code Blog, we will be shutting down the Mashup Editor in six months. While it is always hard to say goodbye to a product, when we launched the Mashup Editor as a private beta last year, we did so to better understand the needs of you, our developers. And you spoke, and much of what we learned together is now a big part of App Engine, the new infrastructure for hosted developer applications. We look forward to working with you in the migration to App Engine, and can't wait to see what you build.

On Google Video (one of the few contemporary video services to not offer an API, although of course Google's API from YouTube is one of the most popular APIs with over 340 mashups):

In a few months, we will discontinue support for uploads to Google Video. Don't worry, we're not removing any content hosted on Google Video -- this just means you will no longer be able to upload new content to the service. We've always maintained that Google Video's strength is in the search technology that makes it possible for people to search videos from across the web, regardless of where they may be hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.

On Google Notebook:

Starting next week, we plan to stop active development on Google Notebook. This means we'll no longer be adding features or offer Notebook for new users. But don't fret, we'll continue to maintain service for those of you who've already signed up. As part of this plan, however, we will no longer support the Notebook Extension, but as always users who have already signed up will continue to have access to their data via the web interface at http://www.google.com/notebook.

As you can see on our Google Notebook API profile, it was not widely used and has just 2 mashups listed.

We have seen this happen a number of times where the API goes away along with the underlying service. Look no further than last month when Pownce shut down their service and API.

Andres Ferrate

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