Fans outraged over decision to axe Google Reader
An attendee at the National Retail Federation listens to a discussion about Google, in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. (AP / Mark Lennihan)
Published Thursday, March 14, 2013 7:00PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 14, 2013 8:35PM EDT
The world’s techies are crying out in reaction to Google’s announcement that it will be killing its Google Reader service – a popular RSS feed that delivers aggregated content in a centralized spot online – this summer.
The decision is part of an overall strategy by Google to focus on fewer products, a move the web giant says will help the company better allocate its resources to “make the most” of today’s rapid computer environment.
Fans of the RSS feed have responded feverishly online to the announcement of its cancellation, ranging in emotion from outrage to pure panic.
“Ah, so they're shutting down Google Reader. I'll try to respond as calmly as I can...AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAA!!!!!!,” said one Twitter user.
“So with Google Reader dying how do I read and listen to things?” another tweet read.
Others are talking about the impact the closing of Google Reader will have on people in Iran, who use Reader to access websites that would normally be blocked, due to the censorship their government places on the Internet.
“My friend @nima once explained how @googlereader is used in #Iran for social networking and to read news outlets. @google should reconsider!” said a Twitter user.
Other fans, however, are acting pragmatically; lawyer Dan Lewis has launched a petition on change.org to “Keep Google Reader Running,” which already has more than 73,000 supporters.
On the heels of the news and subsequent public outcry, news aggregation service Digg has announced they will be creating their own version of Google Reader, saying they plan to “identify and rebuild the best of Google Reader’s features … but also advance them to fit the Internet of 2013.” Digg added it would like public input on what they would like to see from the service.
RSS feeds are intended to give users quick access to updates from webpages and topics of interest, providing a streamlined way to keep tabs the wealth of information that can be found online.
Google announced the decision to kill its Reader in a blog post entitled “A second of spring cleaning.” Google Reader is just one of a host of services being axed as part of the refocusing efforts.
On the Official Google Reader Blog, they explained the decision with a little more depth saying: “Usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”
But it seems Google is trying to ease the pain for the service’s devoted users, giving them until July 1 before completely shutting down the product.
Using Google Takeout, Reader users can get a copy of their data stored on the service, which includes information like who they follow, items they have starred, liked and shared, as well as notations they have made.
Users will also be able import their subscription lists, which will be handy if and once they find an alternative feed reader.
This announcement brings the total list of services and features being killed by Google to 70, which also includes the Google Voice app for Blackberry and Google Cloud Connect.