Google is closing its ‘Google Video’ site on 29th April, and deleting all the files that have been uploaded to it, as the search giant focuses its video strategy on YouTube.
The platform began as a video-sharing site, but it became something of a lame duck when Google bought the web’s leading video site, YouTube, in 2006.
In 2009, Google stopped allowing people to upload their movies to Videos, but has continued to host the videos that are already there.
That ends this month, when the videos will 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 are not preserved elsewhere, users will have until 13 May to salvage them.
Google’s Video Team sent an email April 15 to users of Google Videos, letting them know of the shutdown:
On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback. We’ve added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don’t want to download your content, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)
We encourage you to move to your content to YouTube if you haven’t done so already.
YouTube offers many video hosting options including the ability to share your videos privately or in an unlisted manner.
One of the benefits of using Google Video was it did not have the same kinds of time limits as YouTube, which late last year said it would start allowing individual video uploads of 15 minutes, up from the previous 10 minute-restriction.
There are 2.8 million videos now posted on Google Video, according to Google Operating System, an unofficial blog, and included is an “archive of high-quality videos: there are many documentaries, interviews, lectures and it’s sad to see them disappear … and it’s hard to believe that all of them will be manually uploaded to YouTube.”
The site also notes Google’s Archive Team effort to help archive the video, as well as instruction for those who want to save their own videos.