100,000 die-hard fans want to keep Reader alive, Google wouldn’t budge

By , Mar 15, 2013

google-reader-

A petition to keep Google Reader alive, available at Change.org, already has more than a hundred thousand signatures. After the Internet giant Tuesday shocked the tech world announcing it will discontinue the service after July 1, 2013, the petition crossed 50,000 signatures in less than 24 hours as Reader die-hards scrambled to keep the web app alive. While the decision to axe Reader might actually revitalize the industry, Google refuses to change its mind, Friday news reports indicate…

Asked to comment on the petition, a Google spokesperson told The Next Web:

We’ve given an overview of our reasoning and plans on our blog posts on the Official Google Blog and the Google Reader blog, and we’ll be communicating directly with our users as we make these changes.

It’s safe to conclude that Google at this point isn’t keen on reversing its decision.

Google’s original blog post reads:

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.

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

The Google Reader team was surprised, to say the least:

There are two simple reasons for this: 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.

“We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go,” the team added “We’re sad too.”

You must have seen the outrage over Reader’s demise on Twitter and blogs.

Google Reader demise

My favorite rant is Chris Ziegler’s write-up for The Verge, titled “Google, don’t turn off Reader. Signed, The Internet.”

That headline says it all.

Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to Reader, ten of which Cody outlined in his post.

We are also hearing that both Zite and Digg are working on their own Reader replacement software, and other developers are bound to follow suit.

If your news gathering process revolves around Flipboard, here’s how to import all your feeds into that application.

Flipboard (add Google Reader account)

As for Google’s reasoning behind killing Reader, that’s a typical big corporation cost-vs-profit thought process.

What the company seems to be forgetting is that all sorts of apps by third parties depend on Reader APIs. When Google Reader came along, the team over time rolled out a nice set of APIs that extend the web app’s functionality with such popular features as read/unread status, stars and folders, saved articles and more.

These capabilities are available to other RSS clients that use those APIs. As such, Reader’s demise threatens to send RSS to the technology graveyard. Some even speculate this was Google’s agenda as it continues to shove its Google+ social thing down our throats.

If anything, killing Reader has damaged Google’s reputation.

Google should at least take a long and hard look at the fact that the same number of people signed the petition to keep Reader alive as those who pledged to keep cell phone unlocking legal.

The petition might or might not cross the one million mark, but that’s beyond the point. What matters right now is that with the Reader shut down, Google’s corporate culture is being put to the real test.

The search monster prides itself with listening to its users and respecting their feedback. We shall see what’s more important to them: a few bucks saved or long-term user satisfaction.

And yes, Google - RSS still matters.

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  • Drake2757

    I didn’t even know about reader until they decide to stop supporting it.

    • dre g

      I’m sure you’re a nice person, but literally it’s people like you that made this happen. It’s a joke! Please don’t take offense ;>

  • Damian W

    they could remove Google+ instead of Reader. Google forgot to take their meds to reach such a idiotic decision.

    • AMB_07

      Even though I disagree with nearly all what you say on this blog, I couldn’t agree more with you on this one.

      What does Google see in G+? Google reader was actually useful. People were actually using it. These two reasons are enough to flip this decision.

      • Damian W

        thanks for support on this only one point…but I could not care less.
        G+, so far looks to me like some forced addition to compete with Facebook.

        Frankly, If facebook have come up with some RSS clients, then I bet google would work hard on improving their GRreader. It would be a battle of the best RSS.

        It seems that no competition in this case was worse than having one.

      • AMB_07

        You’re welcome but I wasn’t really supporting you I was piling up on what you said, no offense intended. Facebook can’t even get their news feed right, who in their right mind would think that they have to break into the RSS field?

      • Damian W

        Well then, thanks for not disagreeing. They dont have to break into the RSS field. You did not get my point. I was just trying to say that Google always competes with other companies, but with RSS they had almost no competition and they decided to close it. Who knows, maybe a little bit competition would do them good in this case. I used facebook merely as an example of competition.

    • pawfyd

      Are you serious? Google Reader was nice, I agree, but Google+ is awesome! It’s the best social network right now. It got right what Facebook could not for all those years. I love it!

      • Damian W

        Frankly speaking I never use G+ and none of my 80 close friends and around 200 close associates cares about G+. These numbers sometimes speaks for themsleves. I have nothing against G+, I just think any type of social network is pretty much a waste of time.

  • JerseyD

    Don’t you think google knows exactly how many people use their service? I’m sure they put in plenty of thought before deciding to kill their service

    • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

      Give us a #.

      Don’t you see how many thread about “replacement for Google reader”?

      Don’t you see Feedly and OldRreader’s server went down because of the users from Google reader?

  • http://www.facebook.com/musicc.mann.3 Musicc Mann

    I can’t even begin to understand how a company that is a proponent of free information is shutting down a service that provides millions of people their news and information. Why can’t they just pull the plug on something else like google docs or google+?

    • Z3r0ViP

      Docs is pulled, I think. I dont use it that much… if at all.

      • No Whammy

        Docs is used by millions of people…I’d guess 1000 times the people that use Reader.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    It is the fact that Google reader isn’t generating much revenue that made them make their decision IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/nopadonsth nopadon sangthong

    very disappointed, i’m a big fanboy of this Google Reader service. a lots of Apps might discontinue after this shutdown. I bought Reader for Mac, $4.99, just for reading RSS feed. sigh :(

    • Pavelbure

      Reeder is already working on fixing this situation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558812483 Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

      So will feedler pro :(

  • SoCoMagNuM

    Guess i will have to find an alternaive. this is a major blow though. i understand they dont make money it but it keeps Google name relevent in peoples minds. having to switch to another program will be one less avenue for google. i wish they had overturned their decision though. i agree with the others…kill google+

  • chjode

    Translation: We can’t stuff ads into your RSS feed, so we’re going to shut it down and suggest you move to G+ in order to make it look like more people use it than really do.

    • http://twitter.com/EnriquetaBrasin Enriqueta Brasini

      If you think Terry`s story is super,, one week ago my brothers friend who’s a single mum got paid $4572 working 20 hour’s a week from there apartment and there co-worker’s half-sister`s neighbour did this for 6 months and broght in more than $4572 part time on line. use the guide on this site………. BIT40.ℂom

    • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

      I don’t even remember when did I start using the Google Reader…

      I can only tell that I use it every day, at least twice.

      The app that I use the most on my iPhone is Mail.app and follow by Byline(google reader).

  • Guest

    try feedly, it’s awesome.

    • Devam

      Feebly unfortunately works only with Google reader.. Get your facts straight! Rip G-Reader.. :((

  • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

    I think I will think twice again when I start to use a Google product next time.

    Because I don’t know when they will axe the Gmail in Spring or Summer.

    First they axed the Microsoft Exchange for the gmail on smartphone in Jan and now is Google reader and iGoogle in July.

    • No Whammy

      iGoogle has ’til November. If you think Gmail will go away any time in the next 5 years, you’re delusional.

      Google has also given everyone tons of fair warning and provided tools to keep your data. What exactly is the problem? “Oh noez, I had to move out of my parents’ house and no more free candies :(“

      • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

        As for Gmail might go out, that is a joke.

        By the way, we are not “god”, so we donno what will happen.

        As of now, I have learned that Google will do spring cleaning… every once awhile.

        Please let me know if you already found a good Google reader replacement.

        I have been using it for years… Moreover I don’t mind to pay for this service. I have paid for few apps in appstore for offline caching.

        Soon I will have to invest my time and $ on these apps again.

        If that is a free candy and we can’t complain? Please wake up, even we paid and we still can’t complain. Like we don’t get the unlock code for first generation of iPhone until last year. More and more…