Google announced this week that they are discontinuing their Google Translate API “due to the substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse”. The free service has been officially deprecated as of 26th May 2011 and will be shut off completely on 1st December 2011.
The announcement, made in the official Google Code blog, has sparked outrage from many developers who have been using and relying on this service.
Developers are unified in their indignation at this seemingly rash decision and lack of explanation. Many are calling for Google to offer a paid version of the service, while others seem to be more inclined to leave the instability of Google’s APIs behind completely.
The market has been blown wide open, leaving huge opportunity for competitors to capitalise on this surprise decision by Google. Personally, I am excited to see how this announcement will shape the market in the months to come. I look forward to seeing competitors’ reactions, Google’s next steps and whether this dramatic decision will stimulate the release of new and possibly better translation programmes.
Read more about the ramifications of this announcement in my blog post on Google Translate API – the Repercussions.