Google cans Picnik, Social Graph API and open sourcing Sky Maps

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Google’s spring cleaning campaign continues. The company just announced the closure of a number of products, including the popular Picnik online photo editor which, until recently, was integrated into Yahoo’s Flickr, for example. Google is also shutting down a number of underutilized services like the Google Message Continuity email backup service for enterprise customers, its Social Graph API and Urchin, the company it bought in 2005 and that formed the basis for Google Analytics. Needlebase, a database product Google acquired through its ITA acquisition, is also shutting down by June.

In addition, Google is open-sourcing its Sky Map Android app. The development of the app will continue at Carnegie Mellon, though, where Google and the university have agreed to a partnership “that will see further development of Sky Map as a series of student projects.”

Google notes that the Social Graph API “isn’t experiencing the kind of adoption we’d like” and that the Message Continuity service was only being used by “hundreds of customers.”

Have a Nice Picnik

The program that Google’s users will likely miss most is Picnik, which was among the first web-based online photo editing tools. Google says that it is closing the tool so “the Picnik team can continue creating photo-editing magic across Google products.” Google+ and Picasa are the obvious candidates for adding more Picnik-like features and Google+’s Creative Kit is already quite similar to Picnik.

Users can use the Picnik Takeout feature to download their images (you will be prompted to use this tool the next time you log in to Picnik). Until its closure, Picnik’s premium features will be available for free. Current paying users will get a refund.

All of these apps will close at different times. Picnik is shutting down on April 19 and the Social Graph API will be retired a day later.

The enterprise-focused Message Continuity services will be available for the duration of its current customers’ contracts. Needlebase is shutting down on June 1. Urchin support will end March 28, 2013.

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