Google has recently gone on a diet and started getting rid of products and services deemed inferior, unpopular, or a failure. The latest victim in Google’s “spring cleaning” is Google’s extremely popular RSS feed aggregation service, Google Reader. Google has announced it closing Google Reader on July 1, 2013.
Come that date, Google Reader will be shut down and Google Reader users will no longer have access to their Google Reader accounts and associated feeds. If you want to keep your feeds, you have until July 1 to use Google Takeout to export your feeds from Google Reader or else you will lose them forever.
Wow, I’m stunned. I did not see this coming. Google Reader is hardly inferior, unpopular, or a failure. It is very popular and widely used by many RSS fans. The official reasons for Google Reader’s desime are “usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re [Google] pouring all of our energy into fewer products” but I’m guessing Google Reader is unprofitable. Whatever the reason, I think this is a big blunder on Google’s part. After all, Google is an advertising company and what better way to improve targeted ads by knowing what websites people like to follow? Plus, many people use Google Reader and Google is just pissing them off by shutting it down.
On the bright side, all is not lost. Feedly, a popular news aggregator, plans on releasing a Google Reader clone running on Google Apps Engine once Google Reader shuts down. They say they will offer seamless migration so you can move from Google Reader to Feedly without much issue.
[via Official Google Blog]