Amazon to shut PlanetAll, absorb features

The e-tail giant is shutting down the online address book service and is incorporating bits and pieces of the site's technology.

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Amazon.com is shutting down PlanetAll.com, which included a service touted as "the only address book you'll ever need."

The address book was one of several features on the personal information management site.

Although Amazon has transferred some of PlanetAll's features, its members will have to move their own address book data or calendar entries from PlanetAll to Amazon or to other sites. PlanetAll emailed its customers Tuesday, telling them Amazon would shut down the site July 2.

"We are pleased to announce that we have completed the integration of the key e-commerce related features of PlanetAll.com into our main site at Amazon.com," Amazon said in a letter to PlanetAll members. "Although PlanetAll.com will be going away, you'll still be able to enjoy some of the tools that help you keep in touch with like-minded folks."

The PlanetAll features have been folded into Amazon's Friends and Favorites area. Within Friends and Favorites, Amazon customers can set up wish lists and view those of friends, view product critiques from specific reviewers and create and view home pages on Amazon.

Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith said after Amazon had absorbed the technology, it did not see the need to maintain PlanetAll.

"It seemed really superfluous to have it running beside Friends and Favorites," she said.

Smith said PlanetAll's employees have already become Amazon employees and most have been relocated to Amazon's Seattle headquarters. Amazon bought Cambridge, Mass.-based PlanetAll in August 1998.

PlanetAll had some 1.5 million members, Smith said. In addition to its Web-based address book, the site offers a calendar and links members to others who share their interests or have similar backgrounds.

Despite the impending shutdown, new members can still register at PlanetAll. Smith said members can download their address book, but they will have to manually re-enter their calendar information at Friends and Favorites.