Saturday, March 16, 2013

Powering Down Google Reader,Will You Miss Google Reader? Clearly, Should Google kill Google Reader? Will you miss it?

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.
Was it only 2005? I can hardly remember living without Google Reader.

There was a separate post on the Google Reader blog. This was the first post to the blog since October 2011, which announced some Google+ integration. Perhaps that should have been taken as another clue. On the blog, Google software engineer Alan Green wrote:

We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We're sad too.

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we're pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.
Usage is declining. I guess that's not entirely unexpected, given the rise of social media. For the average person, I can see where it wouldn't be incredibly hard to get by without Google Reader, even if they are accustomed to using it on a regular basis. For people who write for the web, however (which is still a pretty large number of people), there really isn't another tool out there that does the job as well as Google Reader. At least not yet. Others see the situation as it is, and are working on alternatives, and or promoting their existing alternatives.56169c6847