The obituary reads, born 2005, died 2013, as Google announces the death of Google Reader, a service and tool that probably hasn't yielded the largest of profits for Google, has not had the widest adoption and use, but amongst those who do use it, each and everyone would swear that Google Reader is probably their second most popular service, after Gmail. For me, hearing the news that in July 2013 they will sunset this service, has come as a bitter pill to swallow. I have used Google Reader as the service to aggregate and sync my tons of RSS feeds since 2007, and every morning and night, would use Google Reader to aggregate all my tech news, global news, even Groupon deals in a nice and easy to scroll format, minus most of the ads and bloatware that comes with viewing a full website.
Google Reader aggregates feeds in RSS (rich site summary) – a format for creating streams from changing web content – and makes it easy for people to discover websites of interest and keep tabs on them.
Apparently, the cost of running this service for Google far outweighed the benefits it provided, but I can't help wonder if it was managed correctly, marketed correctly, it would have had a much longer lifespan. Google probably would put the blame at the rise of Flipboard and Twitter, but I can't see any comparison between RSS and anything else. RSS-fanboys have been taking to the netwaves, to petition Google, but I don't think anything will come of it. Google has decided and will stick to their view.
And this is the problem with Google, they would create tons of projects, put half an effort and then axe it, rather than commit and commit whole-heartedly to things. Apple has a much narrower scope but they put their hearts into it, and the projects remain. It would have been better that Google never came up with Google Reader, rather than get me hooked onto it for seven years and then axe it.
Whether another third party company could come up and fill the void, remains to be seen, but the death of Google Reader will probably lead to the death of RSS as a protocol, in a few years. It's a shame, as it's a lovely concept, just misunderstood or not understood by the masses.
Rest in peace Reader