Google phasing out 'iGoogle' in latest purge

Google logoThe customization service, known as iGoogle, will be turned off in November 2013. The mobile version of iGoogle will be discontinued at the end of this month.

Google Inc. disclosed its plans this week. It's being swept out as part of a periodic housecleaning that has seen Google scrap more than 30 products since co-founder Larry Page became CEO 15 months ago.

Page has been trying to sharpen Google's focus on search, advertising, video, social networking and mobile devices.

The scheduled termination of iGoogle will come eight years after Google first offered the personalization tool. It had been seen as a way to encourage people to return to Google more frequently for information they are interested in. It also encouraged more people to create Google accounts, which made it easier for the company to identify their individual interests.

The climate has changed since iGoogle started as an unbranded personal page in 2005.

These days, many people get weather and other information through applications they install on smartphones and tablet computers. People who use Google's Chrome browser can also access a variety of apps with functions offered by iGoogle.

"The need for iGoogle has eroded over time," Matt Eichner, Google's general manager of global enterprise search, wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

Google said tens of millions of people used iGoogle within its first two years of existence, making it the company's fastest-growing service in early 2007. The company hasn't disclosed more recent figures.

Besides its customization service, Google also is preparing to jettison several other products, including a little-used online video service that the company started before it bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.76 billion.

Google stopped accepting new clips on Google Video in May 2009. Later this summer, Google Video's remaining content will be transferred to YouTube. Google Video users will have until Aug. 20 to delete or transfer their clips to another location.

Tags: Google

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