We hate to remind you this, but Google Reader is going to breathe its last on July 1. Even as you scramble to find that perfect replacement for your RSS feeds, there must be one question in the back of your mind – why? Why did Google kill off a service so widely loved?
While Google in its eulogy wrote that the readership of the service was fast dwindling, another theory is that Google's reluctance to invest in the staff and infrastructure needed to deal with compliance and privacy issues rang the death knell for the service. Now Google claims another theory: most of us consume news a lot differently now than we did when the Reader first launched.
“As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process,” explained Richard Gingras, Senior Director, News and Social Products at Google to Wired. “Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day.”
Smartphone users to blame
While Google seems to be striding forward with its Google Now and Google+ services, it wants readers to take a more active approach to news consumption – something that Reader was not exactly offering. Google Reader has always made for a leisurely reading, as a more passive news-reading experience.
But fret not, Google says that it is working on newer and better ways to bring you news through its other services. Gingras says that Google is looking at “pervasive means to surface news across products to address each user’s interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means.”
Two Google services are keys to what Gingras says – Google+ and Google Now. While Google+ works on the more laidback aspect of reading, Google Now works on providing the latest information to users just as and when they need it. Google+ has received a push by the Internet giant since a while now as a social media news source. Google Now, on the other hand, gives you a lot more localised information based on where you are at the moment. It’s a pity that it is not available on most Android devices currently, though.
Even while Google is working on ways and means to get news to you saddled on the back of its other services, there is no denying that Google Reader will be dying on July 1. You might still be bitter over the service’s death, but it’s time you search for a new RSS Reader.