For years, it has been the best RSS feed aggregator — which, like many Google products, has been available for no cost to its users. In the very near future, this service will sadly no longer be available, at any cost, because Google is retiring Google Reader.I was working on some internet marketing tactics this morning when I suddenly got an alert from Google Reader:
Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013. If you’d like to download a copy of all your Reader data before then, you can do so through Google Takeout.
I was immediately in shock.
What will I do without Google reader? I currently have several feeds from news sites, blogs, and Google Alerts that I review daily.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Google would axe such a wonderful product, so I looked further to find the rationale behind it.
As it turns out, Google has been doing “Spring Cleaning” since 2011. The goal is to reduce the number of projects so that more energy can be put into the most important ones. The most recent wave of cuts brings the Google product death toll to 70.
The official Google Reader blog also stated, “usage of Google Reader has declined,” which is another reason why this product made it on the hit list.
What You Can Do
I’m not the only one who’s disheartened by the news. There is a petition on Change.org asking Google to keep Google Reader alive. Who knows if Google will actually listen or not, but it can’t hurt to try and let them know that we value the product.
If you have data in your Reader that you’d like to keep or move to another aggregate, you’ll need to download it from Google Takeout. In the event that Google doesn’t decide in our favor, you’ll need to do this prior to July 1, 2013. When you log in to Takeout, the service will compile your feeds into an xml file. You can download the file and import it into another service.
Then, of course, you’ll have to find another service to use.
Since Google Reader was such an outstanding product, I hadn’t bothered shopping around for another reader. If you’re like me and have no idea where to turn, there’s a brand new site “Replace Reader” that has a list of alternative providers and their rank by popularity. Find yourself a new provider here.
Hopefully this petition works and we won’t have to switch over to anyone else.
We’ll just have to wait and see…