Citing declining usage and a focus on fewer products, Google today gave notice to its loyal (but apparently too few in number) users that its RSS platform is going away permanently via a message in Google Reader (“Google Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013.”) and a couple of blog posts.
Google Reader was one of eight products Google is killing as part of its latest “spring cleaning” efforts:
“We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites,” wrote Urs Hölzle, SVP Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow. “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.”
Google has regularly announced rounds of “spring cleaning” since Larry Page took over as CEO. Page wants Google to focus more energy on fewer products (in his words, putting “more wood behind fewer arrows”).
“We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too,” read a blog post from Alan Green on the Google Reader blog.
As you’d expect, the news has received tons of coverage and a collective "NOOOOOOO!", as many who rely on the soon to be dead product and are now scrambling to find Google Reader alternatives. If you’re among them, you may want to investigate:
If you have other Google Reader alternatives you'd recommend, please share in the comments.