By pulling the plug on Reader service, Google will break the hearts relying on it for aggregating content from their favorite websites and blogs.
Here are the words Google used to justify the dreadful act;
“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.”
As Google clearly stated in the statement, the reason behind the termination of eight year old service is declining usage. Though the suggested fact couldn’t be disputed, it is also true that Reader has its share of loyal followers. Reader may not have the looks but it has the functionality that kept people glued. On the day of its launch, Google representatives stated;
“The amount of information on the Web is rapidly increasing; Google Reader helps you keep up with it all by organizing and managing all the content you’re interested in. Instead of continuously checking your favorite sites for updates, you can let Google Reader do it for you.”
The idea clicked at that time but, as stated, never reached the cult following of other Google offerings like Search, Maps, Android and YouTube. Interestingly, it is not the first time that this is happening; Google has the reputation of a heartbreaker. iGoogle, Google Labs and various other projects met the same tragic fate on the pretence of deploying resources more ‘judiciously’.
However, if we keep our personal attachment to Reader aside & think rationally for a minute, Google did what anybody would do to an investment that is consuming resources but not paying enough return. Google with its gigantic stature is still a company that has to answer stakeholders at the end of the financial quarter. So, getting rid of non-performing, or we better say less performing assets, to focus on stalwarts is only logical. In 2011, Google CEO Larry Page reflected the same in his much quoted words about putting “more wood behind fewer arrows”.
While Reader is near about gone, its user base is now groping for alternatives that can serve as the perfect replacement. While there are plenty of options worth exploring, Feedly, Taptu, Pulse, Flipboard and Google very own, Currents are the ones FATbit found closest substitutes to humble Reader.
So, this is where we say good bye.
Google Reader, it was nice knowing you.
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