While Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) grows, it also shrinks. Sort of. At least, when a company gets as big as Google has, it should do some spring cleaning every so often and remove some of its products or services in order to streamline itself and how it serves customers.
Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has certainly done some of this in the past, and the company announced over the weekend that it is going to do another round of streamlining when it eliminates Google Listen, Google Apps for Teams and Google Video for Business. Google cited some redundnacy in these areas and decided to consolidate services.
For example, the Google Listen podcast app will be closed in favor of Google Play, which has a wider variety and selection of podcasts to access. Those who have the Google Listen app will still be able to use it, but the search feature will not be functional by November 1. Also, Google Apps for Teams accounts will be converted into individual Google accounts, mainly because the company acknowledged that collaboration between people using non-Google e-mail addresses was showing to not be very useful – which goes against the services’ intent, which was for anyone with a business or school e-mail address to collaborate with other people using Google Docs, Google Talk or Google Calendar without needing to establish a Gmail account. Whoops!
The third service to be cut will be Google Video for Business, which was designed for teams to collaborate using video communications. But the company decided it will migrate all videos to Google Drive, which has similar storage capacities, thus making Google Video for Business somewhat redundant. All of these changes are expected to be phased on and completed by the end of fall, according to a blog post from Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Google is a very popular stock position for many billion-dollar hedge-fund managers, including Robert Karr. Karr had nearly one-fourth of his $470-billion portfolio invested in Google at the end of March (about $109 million; check out his prosperous portfolio). Google is also the second most popular stock among hedge funds (see the 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds).