Home Google to Close Picnik & Social Graph API, Open-Source Sky Map

Google to Close Picnik & Social Graph API, Open-Source Sky Map

Google keeps on slimming down its product line to focus on what CEO Larry Page calls its “big bets.” Today it offered updates on five products that will be going dark this year. The photo editor Picnik, which Google acquired in 2010, will be closed down, and the team will work on Google’s other photo products. Google is also shutting down its Social Graph API as its Google+ API slowly trickles out.

Google will also open-source its Sky Map this year in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon university. The Google Message Continuity service, which backs up email for enterprise customers, will be retired in favor of Google Apps. The Needlebase data management platform will be integrated into other services. Finally, Urchin, whose product ultimately became Google Analytics, still had a standalone client-hosted version, which will be closed in March.

As Larry Page said in yesterday’s earnings call, Google’s current focus is on speeding up its execution. To make way for its main teams, Google has been closing down and open-sourcing its less-used projects over the past year.

Many interesting projects have moved on to bigger and better things as open-source initiatives. The Android App Inventor found a home at MIT. Knol, once Google’s effort at a Wikipedia-like knowledge database, has become Annotum, a WordPress-based system. Google Body became Zygote Body, and now it, and even the 3D viewer software behind it, is open-source. Today, Google Sky Map goes open-source, and it will live on as a student-run project.

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