Google has gone on a spring cleaning spree of its services and has decided to show the door to its aggregation service Google Reader, much to the dismay of the Internet. Come July 1, users will no longer be able to use Google’s much loved RSS service.
Google Reader allowed users to keep a tab on content from their favourite blogs and news websites in one place, which made it look almost like an inbox. The service was a hit with compulsive news junkies who used the service dedicatedly.
“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,” Urs Hölzle, Google’s Senior Vice President of Technological Infrastructure, wrote in a blog post.
RIP Google Reader
Google has announced that before the service bids its last goodbye in July, users and developers who are interested in RSS alternatives can export their data including subscriptions using Google Takout over the course of the next four months.
While newer RSS-based services like FlipBoard, Pulse and the search giant’s own Google Currents have turned to using a visually rich medium to display stories, Google Reader pretty much remained the same with its text heavy, inbox style ever since it began nearly eight years ago.
The spring cleaning exercise has been a Google habit since 2011 when CEO Larry Page first pulled the plug on Google+ predecessor, Google Buzz and Google Labs. Buzz was launched as a competition to Twitter initially in 2010. While Google put in a lot of effort to make Buzz attractive to users, things did not go as planned for the company, forcing it to shift its focus to Google+.
While Buzz’s death did not really affect the masses much, Google Reader’s impending execution is having die hard users up in arms. Despite bigger world news including the election of a new Pope, Twitter users were all abuzz about Google Reader so much so that the topic was trending worldwide on number one position ever since the announcement. Several petitions have also started online petitions to badger Google to change its decision. Amusingly, a U.S. resident even started a petition directed to the White House, requesting the Obama government to request Google to change its decision to shut Google Reader down. The petition already has 69 signatures and requires 99,931 more for it to merit a response from the government.
Among other services to get the axe in Google's spring cleaning activity include GUI builder, which is being ditched for a focus on HTML service; Google Cloud Connect, which will be put to rest in favour of Google Drive and Google Voice App for BlackBerry, which will be axed even though users will have access to the browser based HTML5 app. Snapseed desktop for Windows and Mac is also being shown the door.
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