Since Google announced in March that they would be shutting down the RSS reader, millions of users have been looking for alternative services, while web companies try to win Google’s reader orphans.
Many are still angry with Google’s decision to close the service but in a blog post Google software engineer Alan Green said “Usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products.” He continued, “We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”
Since the announcement Google have offered instructions for how users can export their RSS feeds to alternative services. However, many feel that the other services on offer do not provide the same level of functionality.
PC Magazine said the decision was “a grave mistake by Google and it sends the wrong message”.
Not everyone feels that this was a wrong move by Google. Some feel that social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are rapidly changing the way people find updates from thier favourite sites and so leave RSS readers looking old-fashined and unnecessary.
But rival services are still keen to snap up the stranded users. The social recommendation news site, Digg, said it had been planning to update its own reader service but had increased efforts upon hearing about Google Reader’s closure.
Andrew McLaughlin of Diig said “We hope to identify and rebuild the best of Google Reader’s features (including its API), but also advance them to fit the internet of 2013.”
So with this announcment, Google Reader joins other axed products such as Google Wave, Google Buzz and Google Labs. If you feel you need some closure then US magazine Slate has posted a virtual graveyard of closed Google products, where you can leave virtual condolences.
RIP Google Reader.
[Image via tekserve]