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RIP: Google to Shutter Google Reader July 1st

RSS Isn't Dead Yet, Stop Trying to Kill It

google-reader-dead

Arguably one of the best RSS feed readers out there, and at the very least the API behind some of the best feed readers out there, Google broke the hearts of many tech savvy bloggers, journalists and blog followers when they announced the July 1, 2013 shutdown of Google Reader, along with 7 other products.

“We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. 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 Blog}

While RSS feeds still provides the plumbing for many aggregators and web apps, they never got the mainstream adoption of something like Twitter. Google’s new focus on core products that fit a search, social or ads function for the company means that as fervent an audience as a particular product might have, anything not contributing to those areas could find itself on the chopping block. Prediction: don’t be surprised to see a similar deadpool announcement for Feedburner in the near future.

So that’s the news and the reasoning, but allow us to make the totally emotional argument: whyyyyyyyyy? Noooooo!

That feels a little better, but really Google? You can’t figure out how to make a product with a regularly engaged, passionate following  fit within your search/social/ad strategy? Facebook figured out how to integrate with publishers to let users easily share what they were reading on different sites to gain deeper insights into interests and make reading, well, more social. Sure, Google+ is still trying to topple MySpace for engagement, but it seems like a pretty obvious solution would be to at least bring Google Reader options into the fledgling social network. Considering that Robert Scoble has more Google+ followers than Cristiano Ronaldo, the tech savvy people who still regularly use RSS would probably consider it a plus, and end up spending more time on Google+. A win win for both sides.

Alas, it seems Google anticipated some of this reaction at the news of Reader being sent to the glue factory.

These changes are never easy. But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives.

Still seems like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Other products headed for the deadpool include Search API for Shopping, Google Voice App for Blackberry, Google Cloud Connect and 4 others that you probably never heard of anyway (the bathwater).

 





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