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Google Reader closing: wider implications most missed

Google Reader is being shut down – do you know the real reason? Do you know the wider implications that most analysts missed?

google reader

google reader

Google Reader closing July 1st

After nearly a decade, Google Reader is sunsetting, which has thousands of early adopters online screaming foul.

“We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites,” the company said. “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.”

Dozens of petitions have popped up online, the most popular launched having already received over 85,000 signatures. Petitioner Dan Lewis writes, “you’re a huge corporation, with a market cap which rivals the GDP of nations. You’re able to dedicate 20% of your time to products which may never seen the light of day. You experiment in self-driving cars and really cool eyewear which we trust (trust!) you’ll use in a manner respectful to our needs, interests, etc. Show us you care. Don’t kill Google Reader.”

The real reason Google Reader is going away

Gini Dietrich reports on that Google wants you to use Google+ at any cost. “Google employees are incentivized on whether or not Google+ makes it. Twenty five percent of their bonuses require its success. So they’re highly motivated to make you use it.”

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Internet responds by offering alternatives

Lifehacker outlines the various type of alternatives in the roundup of “Best Alternatives,” ranging from cloud-based news readers to desktop-based news readers, both of which have advantages and disadvantages.

While there are many feed readers on the market, most of our team continues to use Feedly (and they offer easy instructions for switching), we suspect feed readers that are visually enticing and offer magazine layouts that have mobile device apps so subscribers can read on the go.

Wider implications most missed

David Svet, CEO and President of Spur Communications expressed concerns over Google shutting down Google Reader. “As an avid user, I don’t like to see the tool go away, but I understand that they couldn’t monetize it. On the other hand, as a Google Apps user, my company is tied very closely to Google.”

Svet continued, “While I pay for the service and expect it to be delivered, in the back of my mind is the fear that something I need will be shuttered. It’s a matter of confidence. It makes me wonder whether the risk of using all Google products is wise. Perhaps hedging disruption with Adobe, Microsoft, and or Apple products makes more sense.”

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Joe Spake

    March 15, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I have been an avid user of Google Reader since the beginning. I subscribe to 218 RSS feeds, many of which are pretty obscure. If Google wants me to use G+ to aggregate all the news I want, they are going to have to make the platform less cumbersome. In the meantime I will be checking out other RSS readers. I checked out 3 yesterday whose servers already seemed over-burdened with other Reader users trying them out. Maybe Google has plans to absorb and kill them too.

  2. Danny Brown

    March 15, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Google Reader is but one option to receive blogs. The bigger issue I saw with it is it got left behind by the mobile revolution. People consume content far differently now, which is why services like FlipBoard have become so popular.

    Blogs will remain – they just need to keep up with the changing landscape. Although, truth be told, I was never a fan of RSS – I keep up to date with blogs I really want to read by email, and use saved streams in Hootsuite to get updates on others.

  3. Deidre Woollard

    March 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    the quote from David Svet mirrors what I’m feeling. Will I find an alternative for Google Reader? Sure. But it’s inconvenient and time consuming. I feel that the company broke trust with me so it makes me feel more nervous about using Google Drive as much as I do, let alone Gmail. And it makes me feel more antagonistic about Google Plus which I feel is being rammed down our collective throats.

  4. Missy Caulk

    March 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I am bummed too. I’ll migrate to Feedly but one more task.

  5. rolandestrada

    March 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I’m a heavy user of Reader but the minute I heard was DOA, I moved over to Feedly with no hesitation. I figured the sooner the better in terms of being up to speed by the time Reader is gone. There is a lesson to be learned here when it comes to free services on the net. Case in point, Posterous!

    I love free services but will pay for some services that are more key to real estate survival because their is less of chance paid services will go belly up.

    On the Google+ front, I’m not surprised since it’s a pet project of Larry Page.

  6. Gini Dietrich

    March 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I really, really love Feedly now six days in. I was very sad about Reader, but Feedly is so far superior, I’m glad Google gave me a reason to switch.

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