Google has announced it will stop a number of its free web-based services which are proving unpopular with users.

Google Video is among the services to be stopped, and has become redundant following the acquisition of YouTube. Users will be unable to load upload videos to the service within a few months. However, clips will not be removed from Video and the service will be more focused on search.

In a blog, Google product manager Michael Cohen, said: "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."

Still, the changes show that even Google - a company that has seen torrid growth and success over the last decade - is looking to streamline its operations with some prudent trimming and take fewer risks in a dire economy.

Google has also decided to stop developing Jaiku, a microblogging platform, and has opted to release its code as an open-source project under an Apache licence.

Google bought Jaiku in 2007. Jaiku lets people post short messages online, via instant messaging and on mobile phones, similar in concept to the competing Twitter service. The new 'Jaiku Engine' project is being ported to the Google App Engine, the company's platform for scalable web services. It also will support OAuth, an authentication mechanism for applications exchanging data.

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"We're excited about developers using this proven code as a starting point in creating a freely available and federated, open-source microblogging platform," said Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering, in a blog.

Gundotra also detailed two services that will end: the Mashup Editor, an AJAX development framework for building web-based applications that has been superseded by the App Engine and, a mobile social networking site.

Catalog Search, a service that lets people see and search the full text of catalogues that had been scanned using optical character recognition technology, is also being stopped. Google said the project helped it refine how it can make the full text of books available online, but overall the service wasn't very popular.

Finally, the company will also stop working on Google Notebook, although it will keep the service running for registered users. Notebook is an online organisational tool where people can create notes and share them, among other features. Again, many features are duplicated by other services.

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