Google has dozens of apps, services, and products that it’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of them, especially the old and obscure ones. These products come and go, usually after a few months or even a few years, but rarely do these products survive for over a decade, with very few people knowing about them. Such is the case of Google Bookmarks, not to be confused with Chrome’s bookmarks, which have been around for almost 16 years. It’s time, however, has come to an end, but, fortunately, its departure will hardly be felt, even by Google Maps users.
Before panic sets in, we have to clarify that this Google Bookmarks is an entirely different beast from the synced bookmarks that Google uses in Chrome. The latter is in active use and won’t be going anywhere. Not unless Google wants to have a riot in front of its gates, that is.
What is going away next month is an old and relatively unknown service that really had very niche functionality. It doesn’t even connect to Chrome’s bookmarks and is, instead, a service used by third-party apps and services to store pieces of data for later use. In other words, it’s a generic bookmarking tool that other apps can use without having to rely on similar services outside of Google’s domain.
One of those is apparently Google Maps, which used Google Bookmarks to store “starred” locations. Google confirmed with 9to5Google that this Google Maps functionality isn’t going away with Google Bookmarks and that it will be business as usual for starred places. You just won’t be able to access those bookmarked locations outside of Google Maps.
Google Bookmarks is shutting down on September 30, 2021, and the company advises users to export their data before that day comes. Given its obscurity, very few people probably have something stashed there, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check.