Check your calendars, folks. The beheading of Google Reader is less than a month away. On July 1st, the popular (but not popular enough) RSS reader will close forever. If you weren't aware of this, Google will remind you the next time you open up Reader.
When Google made the fateful decision that launched a thousand Twitter freakouts, they made little no effort to explain why they were shuttering the product.
"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." said Google.
Was it a money thing? Was Google simply unable to keep a product running that gave them so little information about its users? Did Google want to force people into using other Google products for news consumption - Google+, for instance?
Probably, definitely, and definitely. But now, Google has provided a little bit better explanation of why they really killed Google Reader - news consumption is changing, and they have to change with the times.
“As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process. Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day - replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day,” Richard Gringras, Senior Director, News & Social Products at Google told Wired.
Sitting down and plowing through a long stream of links isn't really a thing anymore, apparently. News is now delivered in "bits and bites" - think Twitter.
Or Google+, hopefully.
Gringas said Google is looking at "pervasive means to surface news across [Google's] products to address each user’s interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means.”
Google+? Google Now? That's what Google sees as the future of news consumption.
But if you're someone who wishes to stick to your RSS readers when Google Reader gets the final ax, well, there are plenty of options. But Google has a point about news consumption. The times they are a changin'.