RIP: Google Reader Shutting Down in July

NEW YORK | Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 8:01pm EDT

Google announced that it’s killing off Google Reader effective July 1, 2013.

google will shut down reader in july 01

Google is shutting down its popular RSS Reader as part of a broader ‘spring cleaning’ to concentrate on a smaller selection of services. Photo: Doctor Popular/Flickr

Google is shutting down its popular RSS Reader as part of a broader “spring cleaning” to concentrate on a smaller selection of services.

Reader was Google’s web-based program that let people subscribe to news feeds from their favorite sites.

Google Reader was notable not only for its features, but for the active community it fostered for which Reader wasn’t just another tool. Sure it was revolutionary in terms of function, but moreover it was beloved.

Reader gave users the ability to friend, follow and share stories with others. It let readers share stories with each other, and comment on them too.

The move to shut down Reader is part of a larger plan detailed on the company’s official blog. Among other services getting shuttered: Google Building Maker, Google Cloud Connect and the voice app for BlackBerry devices.

Apps Script will be deprecating the GUI Builder and five UiApp widgets in order to focus efforts on Html Service. The rest of the Ui Service will not be affected. The GUI Builder will continue to be available until September 16, 2013.

Existing users will no longer be able to use Cloud Connect as of April 30.

“It’s been a long time since we have had this rate of change — it probably hasn’t happened since the birth of personal computing 40 years ago,” says Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure.

“To make the most of these opportunities, we need to focus—otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact.”

It is posted on the official page of 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.”

Reader grew out of Blogger. In the summer of 2004, Jason Shellen — who had come to Google with the Blogger acquisition — was working on Google’s Atom specification.

It debuted as a formal Google Labs product in 2005. It developed a number of novel features, like the ability to detect what you had read on a per-item basis.

And by 2007, it outgrew Labs and emerged as its own product (via a post from its marketing manager Kevin Systrom, who would go on to found Instagram). And yet slowly, social crept back in, as Wired reports.

Tech Crunch thinks that “Google Reader was just a glorified email inbox. It lacked any other wow factor for people that actually matter. Additionally, it was nearly impossible to monetize, as the same argument about ads in RSS feeds would get the same three geeks angry each time.”

The Google Blog says: “These changes are never easy. But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives.”

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