Space Ramblings

Google Video Admits Defeat

Google Video was all but doomed from the start which is what usually happens when Google tries to step in an arena where it actually has to entertain people instead of just supplying them with bland looking but innovative and efficient interfaces.

In particular Google sucks at building communities. It’s why Google Answers lost out to Yahoo Answers. It’s why Yahoo Messenger and Live Messenger are contenders while Google Talk remains an oddity. Google just doesn’t get it and it’s why Google Video failed from day one.

Handy, sure? Google Video was nice back in the day when there was a shortage of sites you could use to upload and embed videos on. But it was always a mess and became even more so, from poor search capabilities that wound up cluttering your search results with PBS interviews no matter what you searched for (inspiring boundless hatred of PBS) to an increasing degeneration into junk clips from Pakistan and China so that the front page of Google Video wound up looking like a third world bazaar, Google Video was doomed.

That’s why Google bought YouTube, same reason they bought Blogger, because it could actually build a good looking online community. Then Google Video expanded its search capabilities to cover YouTube and now Google Video is shutting down its brief attempt to sell commercial videos, an attempt that perhaps gave some content providers and film studios hope for a respite from the constant pirating of YouTube clips.

Thus ends Google’s attempt to rent people videos they couldn’t own and as an educational lesson in why users shouldn’t ever purchase things they don’t own, Google decided to kick those users who were foolish enough to pay for them on the way out the door.

To compensate customers who will no longer be able to see the videos that they purchased, Google is providing refunds in the form of credits that can be used on its online payment service, Checkout. Hundreds of merchants accept Checkout.

Yeah you gotta love that. A Google Checkout refund is not a refund. It’s a credit. It’s a credit promoting Google’s own service. A refund is money you own. Google Checkout funds is money you don’t own. This kind of arrogance and contempt for consumers is also why Google’s consumer oriented ventures fail, just like Google Checkout will lose to PayPal.

Meanwhile wave bye bye to Google Video. It’s almost as dead as Froogle. Or Google Answers. Heh.

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