Google Shutting Down Reader By July 1

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye.

Goodbye Google Reader, we hardly knew ye.

In an official post at the Google Reader blog and the Google blog, the search giant has announced today that it will retire Google Reader, a fantastic RSS service in its own right, shutting it down on July 1, 2013.

Software engineer Alan Green took to the Google REader blog to say the following:

We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.

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.

To ensure a smooth transition, we’re providing a three-month sunset period so you have sufficient time to find an alternative feed-reading solution. If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout.

Thank you again for using Reader as your RSS platform.

Urs Hölzle, SVP Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow, posted on the official Google blog:

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 an avid Google Reader fan, I’m sad to see it go, and wonder how all the Android, iOS, and Mac third-party apps will handle the transition away from what seemed to be a backbone of RSS reading on the modern internet.

What do you think will become the next RSS big thing? Or is it over? Does this signal the beginning of the end for RSS? I don’t think so, but it will be interesting to see if we get more fragmentation, or if a bigger fish comes along and takes Google Reader’s place.

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