Google Ends Picnik, Urchin, Needlebase, Social Graph API, Google Message Continuity

    January 21, 2012
    Chris Crum

“Take heed! The ants have invaded.”

Picnik users will be familiar with all of those cute little picnic-related messages that appear while Picnik carries out various functions. Well, that’s the message that appears now, as Google prepares to shut down the service.

Picnik will be closing April 19, 2012.

In fact, Picnik is only one of a handful of Google products the company is shutting down. In a blog post called “Renewing Old Resolutions For The New Year” Google announced that it will be shutting down: Picnik, Urchin, Needlebase, Google Message Continuity (GMC) and the Social Graph API.

The Picnik team says on the Picnik blog:

Amazing photos are created in Picnik so we have launched a new feature,Picnik Takeout, that easily downloads your photos to your desktop in convenient zip files. You may also elect to copy your photos to Google+ where you can store and share your creations. You may request your photos at any time and use this handy tool as many times as you like until our closing date of April 19, 2012.

Premium customers will get a full refund within the week, the team says. Additionally, premium features will be free to all until the service shuts down.

On GMC, Google says, “In December 2010 we launched an email disaster recovery product for enterprise customers that use Google’s cloud to back up emails originally sent or received in an on-premise, Microsoft Exchange system. In the time since we launched, we’ve seen hundreds of businesses sign up for it. By comparison, in that same time, we’ve seen millions of businesses move entirely to the cloud with Google Apps, benefitting from disaster recovery capabilities built directly into Apps. Going forward we’ve decided to focus our efforts on Google Apps and end support for GMC. Current GMC customers will be able to use GMC for the duration of their contract and are encouraged to consider using Google Apps as their primary messaging and collaboration platform.”

Regarding Needlebase, the company says, “We are retiring this data management platform, which we acquired from ITA Software, on June 1, 2012. The technology is being evaluated for integration into Google’s other data-related initiatives.”

Regarding the Social Graph API, Google says, “This API makes information about the public connections between people on the web available for developers. The API isn’t experiencing the kind of adoption we’d like, and is being deprecated as of today. It will be fully retired on April 20, 2012.”

Finally, with regards to Urchin, Google says, “In 2005 we acquired Urchin, whose online web analytics product became the foundation for Google Analytics, helping businesses of all sizes measure their websites and online marketing. We’re fully committed to building an industry-leading online analytics product, so we’re saying goodbye to the client-hosted version, known as Urchin Software. New Urchin Software licenses will no longer be available after March 2012.”

In the same announcement, Google said it is also open sourcing Google Sky Map.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.