Google to kill off Google Reader in 'spring cleaning'

Google to kill off Google Reader in 'spring cleaning'

Summary: As of July 1, 2013, Google will retire its RSS subscription service Google Reader, the company announced today.

TOPICS: Google

Google has announced that it will kill off its RSS reader application Google Reader as of July 1, 2013, citing a slowdown in usage since the service launched in 2005.

Google Reader allows users to subscribe to content from their favourite news and blog sites from a unified web interface similar to an email inbox. The internet giant's senior vice president of Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle announced today that after eight years, the service will be brought to an end.

"We launched Google Reader in 2005, in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favourite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years, usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader," he said in a blog post.

"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."

The application has largely remained the same over the years since the launch. Many other RSS applications, including FlipBoard and Google's Currents, have turned RSS readers into more of a visual, magazine-style way of catching up on news, while Reader has kept its look as more of an email inbox.

Before Google shuts off Reader, it will allow users to export their subscriptions out of the application using Takeout. ZDNet's sister site CNET has listed a number of alternative applications that RSS fans can potentially turn to.

The move comes as part of a cleaning out that Google CEO Larry Page announced in 2011. The cleanup has already claimed Google Buzz and Google Labs.

The company said today's announcement will see a total of 70 features or services closed since the spring cleaning began.

Among the termination of other services, the announcement will also see the end of GUI Builder for a focus on HTML service; Google Cloud Connect will be ditched in April in favour of Google Drive; and Google will end support for its Google Voice App for BlackBerry, though users will still have access to the browser-based HTML5 app.

Google will also end support for Snapseed desktop for Windows and Mac beginning today.

Topic: Google


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Good riddance

    I was so unhappy with the crop of Google Reader-based iOS front-ends on the iOS app store I wrote an RSS/Atom/RDF/Podcast client myself that'a self contained. No usernames or passwords necessary, just computing in the palm of your hand, as it should be.

    I guess this is good news for me and for other app developers who care about user experience.

    Anyway, the app is called Feedster on the iOS app store if anybody's interested.

    Pablo Collins
  • Why?

    I don't want to use your RSS app or anyone else's. I want to go to this page which lays it all out nicely. Seriously, Reader was the last good thing left on the internet for me. Now I'm just basically going to become an illiterate redditor.
  • It's better to die great than be forgotten.

    I never used Google Reader, apparently i was missing out big time. I use for all of my news needs. I feel like i never miss out with it.
  • That's not good

    I don't use Google Reader interface. It stores all my feeds. But I use it on flip board, Pulse, WonderReader. Now I'm going to have to do some serious work on reorganising my feeds. Hmmmm
  • I'm sure it was announced at one point....

    But iGoogle dies November 1st.

    Google spends so m uch on R&D on projects only to trash them a few years later. I'm expecting Chrome OS to be dumped in the next batch.