Google’s announcement that it will shutter Google Reader is a blow to fans of the program. I’m one of them — it’s my No. 3 program after email and Twitter. I know RSS is old school, but I love skimming through a “river of news” from my favorite sources, and I also like some specific Google Reader features for navigating and bookmarking.
Initially I was a little disappointed when I heard the news. This is the third time Google has axed one of my favorite services or apps. But whatever. I’m already over it.
After all, one of the beauties of RSS is its portability, and there are many feed readers.
Here’s the official word from Google …
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.
Software developer Dave Winer, a.k.a. Mr. RSS, offers this take on his blog: “I won’t miss it. Never used the damn thing. Didn’t trust the idea of a big company like Google’s interests being so aligned with mine that I could trust them to get all my news.”
For a Google Reader deep dive, check out Mat Honan’s piece about this on Wired News. He talked with Google Reader’s creator, Jason Shellen, and notes that the project was originally approved by none other than Marissa Mayer, then a Google exec.
Honan notes that Feedly is planning to launch a Google Reader clone. Can’t wait to try it out.