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Google nixes shared stuff, mobile ad site

The grim economic times have snuffed out another couple of small projects, one for sharing Web links and videos and one for creating ads tailored for mobile phones.

More casualties of Google's belt-tightening are surfacing as the search and ad giant pares away projects that don't pass muster: Shared Stuff and AdWords business pages for mobile ads.

"This service will no longer be available after 3/30/2009," said a note on Shared Stuff, which let people publish Web links, videos, and Knol articles, then share them with contacts. "If you want another way to share videos, you can use the 'Share' link below each YouTube video. You can also create a public Google Site if you want to share Web sites and links with friends."

In a statement, Google said it decided to remove Shared Stuff "because few people are using this service. Instead, we find people are much more familiar with sharing through e-mail or through other shared services, like the sharing links on YouTube and other sites on the Web."

Google Operating System, which spotted the change, offers some more useful suggestions for alternative services.

Also apparently on the block is the mobile business pages service, a Google-hosted system that let people create ads geared for mobile devices and then hosted those ads for free. Google announced AdWords business pages for mobile ads in 2007.

Tim Cohn spotted a cancellation notice in his AdWords account: "AdWords Business Pages for mobile ads are being retired. As the first stage, you will no longer be able to edit your mobile Business Page after March 23. Please make any necessary changes before that time."

The service was only for ads using the lower-end WAP mobile technology. "We are no longer supporting mobile WAP business pages, but we will to continue focusing on new marketing opportunities on the mobile platform," Google said in a statement.

Faced with economic pressures from the recession, Google is curtailing many smaller projects such as Dodgeball and a few higher-profile ones such as ads for radio and print publications. Google also has slowed hiring dramatically, cut contractor jobs, and implemented more rigorous reviews of new projects.

(Via Search Engine Land.)