Goodbye, Google Reader
Google Reader was launched in 2005 to allow users to subscribe to and read feeds from all manner of publishers, in notifications that are similar to an email inbox. Loved by information junkies, the service was once among the most popular ways of tracking news sites and blogs.
However, Google announced yesterday on their official blog that Google reader would be shut down on July 1st, citing declining usage as the reason. “We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.” Is an excerpt from the Google blog titled "A second spring of cleaning", which includes announcements on the termination of 7 other features/services.
Once users of the app came to know of Google’s announcement, hundreds of tweets and protests have been put up on Twitter, Facebook and other sites to protest about the closing of the service. Some fans have even set up a website dedicated to the topic “BringGoogleReaderBack.com” with a meme who’s expression sums up pretty much what every loyal user of Google reader is probably feeling right now.
Several petitions have already been put up by people who hope Google can still be convinced to reverse their decision, with some garnering 40,000 signatures in just a day.
But why is Google shutting down Google reader if it still has so many popular fans?
In 2011, Google CEO Larry Page famously said the company would put "more wood behind fewer arrows," deploying its resources more efficiently and getting rid of services that failed to reach a worldwide scale. Google claims this drive has already claimed 70 other products and services, (such as iGoogle and Google Labs in the past) and Google Reader is the latest to fall under the axe.
But even if Google Reader shuts down, there are still plenty
of alternatives that exist on the web that do exactly the same thing. Feedly, for example, was quick to capitalize on
Google's announcement by offering tips to Reader users for moving their data to
its website. Other alternatives include NewsBlur and The Old Reader, each of which app offers the ability to import Google Reader's feeds.