One of the most popular feed readers around is shutting down this year – due to declining usage.
Google Reader, the platform Google first launched in 2005, is simply one of the many Google services on the chopping block this week. Google has just put out their annual list of spring cleaning, which consists of features and products that Google is canning in 2013 in order to “focus, otherwise they spread themselves too thin.”
Here’s what Google had to say about Reader in a blog post:
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.
“If you’d like to download a copy of all your Reader data before then, you can do so through Google Takeout. You’ll receive your subscription data in an XML file, and the following information will be downloaded as JSON files,” says Google.
You can go here to start downloading your Reader data from Takeout. Google assures users that the data will be easily transferrable to another similar product.
“These changes are never easy. But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives,” says Google.
But from the immediate backlash seen on Twitter and other social media, it’s clear that this decision is not going over well with longtime Google Reader users. There’s already a petition on change.org asking Google to reconsider.
Other Google products to get the axe alongside Reader include Google Building Maker, Google Cloud Connect, and Google Voice for BlackBerry.