Google Latitude is a location-aware mobile application that was the successor of Dodgeball, a company that Google acquired in May 2005. Google Latitude allowed mobile phone users to allow certain users to view their current location, similar to how Foursquare works today. Dennis Crowley was the co-founder of Dodgeball and Foursquare. Google announced today that Google Latitude will be shut down on August 9th.
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Foursquare is an iPhone application that allows users to broadcast their location to friends. This service is pretty similar to Google Latitude. Foursquare raised about $1.3 million in seed funding according to an SEC filing. The money was provided by Union Square Ventures and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Albert Wenger joined the Foursquare Board of Directors as a result of the funding round.
Foursquare was founded by Dennis Crowley. Crowley founded Dodgeball and sold it to Google in the past. Google did nothing with Dodgeball so Crowley left the company. Foursquare just finished building a Google Android application and will soon be releasing a BlackBerry application.
After doing some searching, BusinessInsider found out what the approximate valuation of FourSquare is. It is roughly between $7-$14 million according to sources.
Google To Focus On Core Services By Shutting Off Video Uploads, Notebook, Dodgeball, Jaiku, and Mashup Editor
Google has announced that they will not be supporting several of their services any longer. This includes Google Video Uploads, Google Notebook, Dodgeball, Jaiku, and Mashup Editor. The search engine company is shutting down the aforementioned services in order to keep efforts focused on core products and services.
Google Video blog post written by Michael Cohen: “In a few months, we will discontinue support for uploads to Google Video. Don’t worry, we’re not removing any content hosted on Google Video — this just means you will no longer be able to upload new content to the service. ” Google Video will just become another video search engine and I’m assuming anyone that wants to upload videos will be routed to YouTube.
Google Catalog Search blog post written by Punit Soni: “In recent years, Catalog Search hasn’t been as popular as some of our other products. So tomorrow [January 15, 2009], we’re bidding it a fond farewell and focusing our efforts to bring more and more types of offline information such as magazines, newspapers and of course, books, online.” Google Catalog Search started in 2001 using OCR to search text of product catelogs, magazines, newspapers, etc.
Google Notebook blog post written by Raj Krishnan: “Starting next week, we plan to stop active development on Google Notebook. This means we’ll no longer be adding features or offer Notebook for new users. But don’t fret, we’ll continue to maintain service for those of you who’ve already signed up.” Although Google Notebook will no longer be supported, they recommend using other Notebook-like services such as SearchWiki, Google Docs, Tasks in GMail, and Google Bookmarks.
Google Code blog post written by Vic Gundotra: “As we mentioned last April, we are in the process of porting Jaiku over to Google App Engine. After the migration is complete, we will release the new open source Jaiku Engine project on Google Code under the Apache License.” Dodgeball will be discontinued in the next couple of months. And the Mashup Editor will be shutting down in favor of the App Engine infrastructure.
Regretfully due to economic conditions, Google had to lay off a large number of contractors and about 100 recruiters. Google has also had to relocate engineers from external offices to headquarters at Mountain View, California.
“Our long-term goal is not to trim the number of people we have working on engineering projects or reduce our global presence, but create a smaller number of more effective engineering sites, which will ensure that innovation and speed remain at our core,” stated Alan Eustace on The Google Blog.
The economy as a whole has created turbulent times for the search engine company, but rest assured I expect them to bounce back as we see start seeing changes on Capitol Hill.