For ages, Google Labs has been one of my favorite parts about Google. From the company aspect, it showed what happens when 20-percent projects turn out great and it was always fun to play with the new toys that came through the system. Apparently, playtime is over.

According to a post in the Official Google Blog, the company is starting to scale back its Labs product in order to tighten its focus in other directsions:

While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.

Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that all is lost. It seems that Google is determined to roll at least some of the Labs functions into already-existing products. To keep up with that, you’ll need to head to the Google Labs website. I’ve also been told by Google that Gmail Labs, Maps Labs and other product-specific channels will continue to live. It’s just the overall Labs product that will go away.

In the past we’ve seen some great features such as the “Search Docs in Gmail” function, as well as similar image search and Google Tasks. Here’s hoping that the social push won’t stifle creativity.