Google has just announced that they will retire Google Reader on July 1, 2013. Google stated two reasons for shutting down the service despite a loyal following:
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.”
Google will also retire the following features as part of their spring cleaning process:
AppsScript: GUI Builder and five UiApp widgets
Google Building Maker
Google Cloud Connect
Google Voice App For Blackberry
Search API for Shopping
Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh and Windows
To ensure a smooth graceful transition, Google is providing a three-month grace period for people to find an alternative feed-reading solution. If you’d like to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through via Google Takeout.
Personally I’m very sad to see Google Reader go, maybe even border line upset. Like me, I’m sure lots of people have spent a great deal of time organizing Google Reader with thousands of subscriptions, proper folder organization, alerts and enhancements like grid extensions, Buffer and Evernote integration. Removing this simple yet fundamental product from Google’s portfolio makes their other core services like Google+ weaker, given the tightly coupled integration between discovering news via Reader and +1 activity. For a company of Google’s size to remove such a basic feature that probably costs them virtually nothing to run (compared to their overall revenue) is an upsetting move.
The service has been offered since 2005 and makes you begin to wonder what other favorite Google apps of yours may also be on the chopping block soon? Rumors have been floating around for awhile that they could shut down Feedburner too, as the API has already been degraded.
Do you use Google Reader? Are you sad to see it go? What other RSS aggregators would you recommend?
Update 11 PM EST March 2013:Feedly has announced a new backend service called Normandy, which is a feedly clone of the Google Reader API – running on the Google App Engine. So when Google Reader shuts down, you should be able to seamlessly transition to Normandy which is also available for iOS, Android, Chrome and Firefox.