When a free-to-use service closes

Google's decision to retire Google Reader has sparked outrage. Get over it.
Written by Howard Lo, Contributor on

Google's cleaning house these days; chopping services they deem irrelevant in their quest to dominate the Internet. Google Cloud Connect, Building Maker, and Snapseed (desktop) all got the axe (and rumored today is the demise of Google-owned travel guide Frommer's print editions).  One closure has gotten the most attention--Google Reader.  Used by many, it was (still is?) considered the best RSS Reader available.

The outrage over the closing has been high, and Google is feeling the backlash.  One example is with the announcement of Google Keep (a service to compete with Microsoft's OneNote and Evernote). Comment boards are flooded with statements along the lines of, "How can I trust Google to keep the service going? What if they kill it?" Of course filled with witty musings on the word "Keep" as well.

As a user of Google Reader, sure, it's unfortunate that we will no longer get to use it.  But the anger about shuttering Reader seems ridiculous.

Get over it.

  • Your collection of RSS Feeds will be intact until July, plenty of time to move.
  • There are tools to migrate to other RSS readers (and a big opportunity for those other readers).
  • It was free.

Google cites falling usage as the reason to retire the product. That's not surprising as user behavior changes; people keep up-to-date on sites through those sites' Facebook or Twitter postings as well as content shared by friends.

My speculation is many people screaming about the closure won't bother with migrating their RSS subscriptions to a new service, proving that Google was right about low usage.

Is it a case of complaining about it after it's gone and when we don't need it?

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