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What killed Google Reader?

Stashed in: Google+, Blogs!, @lizgannes, @bakadesuyo, History of Tech!, Google FAIL, Google, @om

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From Google's official blog:

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

Which makes me wonder what killed Google Reader?

Is it Google+?

Is it the overall decline of RSS?

Is it something else?

"Usage has declined" but the users are loyal and right now they seem very angry:

no shit.... what the mother fuck?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!!!!!!

They gave no further official explanation other than what I quoted above.

Om Malik noted:

I take issue with Urs’ comments about usage declining. It declined because the company put no resources into the product and took away social features that made it useful for many. It was a project that was orphaned because it didn’t fit into Google’s vision of machine driven reading experience. Despite minimal resources devoted to it, Google Reader one of the better apps built by

From a former Reader PM

So with dwindling usefulness to G+, (likely) dwindling or flattening usage due to being in maintenance, and Google's big drive to focus in the last couple of years, what choice was there but to kill the product?

Personally, I hope RSS does not die and we see some new things popup. I am biased because I am working on one though, so hopefully I don't have blinders on.

Any insight into what new things could make use of RSS / Atom?

I'm honestly surprised there was no way to fold Google Reader into G+ and/or Gmail.

The user base was small but filled with influential writers like Liz Gannes, Eric Barker, and Om Malik.

It is clear that Google Reader shutdown is forcing long time RSS users to try out other alternatives. That might spur innovation in applying RSS/Atom to new uses. Assuming of course, publishers are smart enough to not ditch RSS/Atom and avoid being dependent solely on Twitter, FB, etc.

RSS/Atom is a great way for machines/services to manage information flow still, but with the news cycle shifting to Twitter and FB, we need to be smarter about how we get the best of each.  

Here is why I am biased: memamsa

Ryan, thanks for your perspective.

Perhaps Google shut down Reader because it wants to put more resources into Google Keep?

Two years later, it's still unclear why Google shut down Reader.

And no replacement has emerged. The world just does without.

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