Google Videos bins your movies, but can we expect websites to live forever?

Google is closing its Google Videos site and binning your old movies. But can we expect our Web to live forever and preserve our stuff online?

Google is closing its Google Videos site and binning your old movies. The search giant, which also owns YouTube, won't keep the videos that have been uploaded to the site. But can we expect our Web to live forever and preserve our stuff online?

This probably won't affect anyone too seriously -- YouTube isn't going anywhere, and the movies on Google Videos are a couple of years old by now -- but it does show what could happen if a website simply shuts down.

Videos and photos have an original file that you can keep on your computer, of course, but not all your online activity does. Twitter, for example, only displays your last 3,200 tweets. They're still on the servers, but think of all the insightful thoughts and fascinating links that would be lost if Twitter shut down tomorrow.

Worse, a website could lose all your data and content. Moral of the story: always backup.

Google Videos began as a video-sharing site, but it became a lame duck when Google bought the Web's leading video site, YouTube, in 2006 . In 2009, Google stopped allowing you to upload your movies to Videos, but has continued to host the videos that are already there.

That ends on 13 May, when the videos will all disappear and the service turns into a video search index. Videos that have been uploaded to the service will not be saved, so if they're not preserved elsewhere you have until 13 May to salvage your masterworks.

In other service-cull news, Google has also fitted Google Tags with the mortician's toe-tag. Tags allows shops and businesses to pay for a tag and extra information on their listing on Google Maps. It's similar to Google Boost. Honestly, is Google just building the same services over and over again with different random nouns slapped on the end? Nice work if you can get it.

Google has a bunch of these slightly-different-but-really-not-that-different location services, so it's decided to shuffle a few of them together in Google Places . The tastily named user review service Hotpot has now been absorbed into Places, so your reviews of places you've been to sit alongside information supplied by the places themselves.

Do we trust the cloud too much? Do companies like Google have a responsibility to keep these services around for all time, or should we accept that nothing lasts forever? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall -- and don't worry: CNET UK isn't going anywhere.

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Software
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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