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Google Reader is being retired

on March 14, 2013 8:00 am

google-reader

As I opened my favorite RSS reader this morning – Google Reader, I received a pop-up that it will be retired on July 1, 2013.  News from Google’s official blog states:

“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.”

This news makes me quite sad since I’m a big fan of Google Reader.  I find it super convenient when I want to use an iOS or Android app, and can just open my RSS feeds directly by logging into my Google account, without needing to import my feeds or OPML file.  It’s also an easy to use browser-based news aggregator which I find useful since I use so many different devices and gadgets at  home and at work.  It looks Google Reader fans will have to adapt to social media live streams such a Google+ or Google Currents – which is not quite the same in my opinion!

Comments

  1. 1
    Julie says:

    I think a lot of people (myself included) are completely shocked by this news. I use Google Reader many many times every single day. It’s the only way I can keep up with the 100′s of sites I follow.

    I am going to try Newsblur and Feedly (2 I’ve read about that are supposed to be good). I installed the Feedly Chrome plugin this morning, but it’s getting pounded by GReader’s max exodus.

  2. 2
    alan k says:

    I share the same surprise. Are we that ‘out of touch’ that we’ve been using a tool that Google now finds old and worthless? Difficult start to my day.

    Let me know what you’re thinking of using now. I enjoyed using it, and moreover, liked how it integrated with other Google products.

  3. 3
    eclipse says:

    It’s hard for me to characterize how big a deal this is for me, and also hard to believe the outcry considering Reader’s use is supposedly “shrinking”.

    Reader is how I’m able to get “through” the net and still have a day left. I don’t use Facebook or the other social services and won’t any time soon. I’m posting this from Feedly which was slammed last night with new converts.

    As a paying customer of Google’s enterprise apps several times over, this is the first time I’ve been really mad at the “Big G”.

  4. 4
    Greg says:

    Maybe they’ll reconsider. Google reader makes following many sites wonderfully easy.

    I also think 4 months is way too short a time period for people to transition.

  5. 5
    Julie says:

    I really hope they will reconsider given the uproar it’s caused so far. I’m very happy that I’m not the only geek who will be crushed if it does go down and/or we don’t find a good alternative.

    For me, this ranks right up there with gmail.

  6. 6
    tivoboy says:

    Yeah, when I saw that popup I didn’t really even read it I thought it was just some modal box. But, when ALL the feeds I follow have this news as the top story – I knew something was up. I’ve been using reader at least 6-7 years now. It’s my start page, I go to it probably 20 times a day filtering 100′s of feeds. Without it, the noise would just create a waste of time. Hopefully, the Goog might reconsider. To be honest with you google reader is one of the ONLY things at this point I would PAY for on the web. I’d pay 20$ a year to keep it active and running. Probably saves me 100 times that in TIME in a year

  7. 7
    eddt says:

    As a PC feed user myself, I found Feedly to be the better option – it integrated seamlessly in my Chrome (where I read) and has imported all my feeds from reader. And I like the UI better. Google does what Google does, and we’re all just along for the ride!

  8. 8
    Kevin says:

    I’m trying feedly now but MAN is it a busy interface. Installed the Android app and using the web version on pc. It’s hitting my aging crappy X2 pretty hard.
    I didn’t want to believe this at first, but it probably has some merit… chances are Reader is being cut because Google couldn’t monetize it in the way they do with GMail and other services.

  9. 9
    DiFiasco says:

    I think this is downright bonkers. I’ve been using this for years and if nothing else, it drives me to Google every day multiple times a day.

    Google+ is a sham replacement. Google is simply chasing me away from their site – and for what???

    Dumb. Think again, Google.

  10. 10

    If you are looking for a alternative, have a look at http://Totally.Me which shows all your new headlines (RSS) and social media updates into one experience!

  11. 11
    Kevin says:

    You know, this seems like a perfect opportunity for Microsoft to jump in and steal some of Google’s users. An RSS aggregator would be nice rolled in to the new Outlook.com.

  12. 12
    Steve Holt says:

    I gave Feedly a try yesterday, and I must say I like it better than Google Reader. I like it because of all the sharing options, and the interface is much cleaner and easier to use IMO. Google Reader is the only program that I absolutely can’t do without, so hopefully Feedly will stay afloat and figure out how to make money so we don’t face this again in a few months.

  13. 13
    Mike Earley says:

    Definitely use Feedly. I’ve been doing RSS for years and years, and I’m also saddened by the loss. However, Feedly is basically going to take your existing google reader setup and automatically convert it over to their Normandy ‘clone’ of Google Reader. There will be absolutely no loss of experience. Also, Feedly is a better reader, visually, than GReader’s native interface. Feedly is on all platforms (iOS, Android, OS X, Windows, etc)–especially since it’s a chrome extension for the desktop OSii (OS’s? OSplex?).

    So–Feedly for the win.

  14. 14
    Julie says:

    I played with Feedly earlier today and found it to be ok. I’m now trying to get Newsblur to import my feeds from Google. It just keeps spinning each time I try though. May have to wait awhile for activity to die down.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    BJ Nicholls says:

    I’m also trying Feedly and there’s a lot to like. I wish the Android app had a numeric count of new items – I like to know how big the pile is so I know if I have time to dive in.

    I read that Feedly has an agreement with Google to incorporate the Google Reader API, and that Feedly is really bulking up its server capacity in anticipation of the big migration.

    I can see Google abandoning experiments that have failed, but this is the kind of move that makes me very wary of my dependence on Google’s tools.

  17. 17
    Julie says:

    @BJ can you imagine what would happen if they decided to shutdown Gmail?

  18. 18

    @Julie, if Google were to shutdown Gmail, I think I’d give up on email altogether. =\ hehe

  19. 19
    Julie says:

    I’ve been using Feedly for a couple days and I have to be honest and say that I’m not missing Google Reader at all. The transition was seamless and for the way I work/read, Feedly is giving me everything I need so far.

    How’s everyone else getting along?

  20. 20
    Kevin says:

    +1 for Feedly. I switched that day and both the web interface and Android app are awesome. Not going to miss Reader, but I hope this isn’t the first step towards the death of RSS altogether!

  21. 21
    Julie says:

    @Kevin I still need to install the Android app. I agree with you about hoping RSS isn’t spiraling towards death.

  22. 22
    Joe says:

    Does Feedly show your starred items from Google Reader?

    If switching to Feedly, is there any reason to download your Google Reader data through Google Takeout?

  23. 23
    Julie says:

    @Joe Yes, Feedly brings over all your starred items from Google Reader. No, there’s no real reason to download your data through Google Takeout unless you just want an archive for some reason. I went ahead and did it.

  24. 24
    Joe says:

    @Julie – thanks for the info.

    Seems like Feedly is about as seamless a transition as users of GR are going to get.

  25. 25
    Inkhrn says:

    This is the second Google product to get retired on me this year. What is next? Picassa? Calendar? GMail? Google Drive? The reliability in Google’snproduct line is spotty.

    It might be time to look into more than just a Google Reader alternative. Time to look into a “Google” alternative.

  26. 26

    Feedly is second best thus far, once I enabled list view. I like the sharing options within each post!
    I’ve also tried The Old Reader, which is quite good for simple old-school article reading. Right now you can authenticate with Google or Facebook.

  27. 27
    Julie says:

    @Elizabeth the only thing I don’t like about Feedly is the Android app… Navigation isn’t very easy.

  28. 28
    Joe says:

    @Julie – I agree, the Android app navigation leaves much to be desired. I wish Feedly had a true text-only ‘list view’ like GR had.

    Not a fan of these ‘slick’ magazine style layouts that the news aggregators seem to be pushing readers toward.

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