Google Announces They Will Close The Book On Google Reader In July Along With Several Other Products

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Google has just announced that they will retire Google Reader on July 1, 2013. rss iconGoogle 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
  • CalDAV API
  • 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.

    google reader

    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.

    Daniel Zeevi

    By Daniel Zeevi

    Daniel is a social network architect, web developer, infographic designer, writer, speaker and founder of DashBurst. Full-time futurist and part-time content curator, always on the hunt for disruptive new technology, creative art and web humor.


    1. I don’t see anything on the hit-list that is going to impact me personally, but it already sounds like a lot of people are going to miss Reader.

    2. Reader and Feedburner, have been aware, but haven’t made move yet. Annoying since nice filing system on reader to pertinent topics. Feedburner just useful, too many changes. BTW Feedblitz offer to transfer Feedburner and have a PDF to read making the transition, another thing to still be sorted out. Any other suggestions for RSS?

    3. Ugh. I use Google reader all the time, I have put hours and hours into setting things up in it just right. I also don’t see how a company as large as Google can’t continue to provide this service which couldn’t cost much to maintain. But I guess that’s what I get for using a free service. Anyway, thanks for the heads up, as I now have time to transition to another RSS aggregator.

      1. Couldn’t agree more Steven. The best we can do now is search for the next best RSS alternatives, there are a few offerings, but none could match the speed and organization offered by Google Reader.

      1. Well most of Google’s services are free, it’s really a matter of how much traffic was Reader sustaining as well as what impact did it have on Google+ sharing?

    4. I haven’t used reader, but I have use some Google products in the past. I don’t believe that you can rely on Google as a content management resource. They are not committed to maintaining their products if they don’t go big time. I use Google, but I won’t commit my valuable information to them.

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