Google announced earlier this week that they are retiring Google Reader on July 1st this year. In Google’s blog, they stated that “we know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.”
Google Reader is an aggregator of content from web feeds (aka RSS feeds). Many blogs allow you to subscribe to their RSS feed and Google Reader has been the main choice of an RSS platform of the Internet since its release. The Internet’s reaction? They’re not happy. Change.org, an online petition site, already has 100,000 signatures to bring Reader back.
Google’s reasoning for shutting it down? Declining usage and they want to pour their resources into fewer Google products to make for a better user experience.
Reader joins a long list of discontinued services such as Google Buzz and Google Wave. Some of these discontinued items have been integrated into other services, such as Google Docs (now Google Drive). However, it does not appear Google will integrate Google Reader into any other product (although, they easily could integrate it with Gmail).
Some bloggers have some serious complaints about Reader discontinuing. John Resig, who runs eJohn.org, gets the majority of his hits via Google Reader:
Other sites have complained saying that if Google is going to discontinue Reader, they should discontinue Google+, as well.
Buzzfeed showed that Google Reader refers far more traffic than Google+. It isn’t even close, either.
There are alternatives to Google Reader. And while they don’t integrate with Google, they can definitely help you transition over without missing a single news story. Forbes listed five alternatives in a post. Personally, I will use Twitter. Using Twitter’s list feature, it is easy to customize the news you want to see in a timely fashion.
What will you do without Google Reader? Does it bother you that Google has shown that they’ll discontinue a product without asking their customers first?