NBCi told members last week that they will no longer be able to store files and upload pictures, a representative from the NBC TV network confirmed Monday. In addition, the company moved its game section to a separate Web address and discontinued a synchronize feature for its calendar.
"We are making these modifications in light of recent changes in the Internet advertising and financial markets," the notice read.
The changes are part of an expected reorganization and downsizing as NBC shifts focus toward its more successful Web initiatives such as MSNBC.com and CNBC.com. In April, NBC said it would acquire all of NBCi, in which it previously held a minority stake, for about $85 million in cash. The TV network is pulling the portal back under its wing and shutting down NBCi's operations in San Francisco.
Josh Bernoff, principle analyst at Forrester Research, said that NBCi's cutbacks are "probably justified and smart," especially in the face of heated competition from big rivals such as Yahoo and America Online.
"The activities that NBCi were doing were unlikely to take off," Bernoff said. "Networks should not spend any dollars on the Web that are not intended to promote their television content."
In the notice, NBCi said its game section, including members' accounts, will be moved to Pogo.com.
In addition, Fusion One, an Internet-based synchronization company, will discontinue its service with the NBCi calendar application July 6. NBCi advised members to back up data stored on NBCi.com and copy any information in the address books and portfolios.
The company also said it will not be able to provide file storage. It advised members to make backup copies of all data stored on NBCi and find alternative Web site hosts before July 15. NBCi said it has made arrangements with Homestead.com for hosting services and Xdrive.com for file-storage services.
CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, has a stake in NBCi.