As a part of its “second spring of cleaning”, Google has announced to black out the Google Reader RSS aggregator. The service, originally launched back in 2005, will be officially put under the sods on July 1st, 2013. Now Google is offering users a way to export their Reader data, including lists of users that they follow and starred and liked articles.
Google cites that the “usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products.” Being one of the most popular RSS aggregators on the web, the sad demise of Google Reader could mean a doom for the RSS protocol itself, which is standing on the brink of extinction since the rise of social sharing services. Moreover, a plethora of third-party apps depend on Reader to synchronize news articles. These apps will have to find another method of importing articles from the web or will just dissolve away after July 1st.
Undeniably, the sad demise of Reader will be a great disappointment for die-hard users, the most affected will be those living under censorship who will lose a vital news source as Google Reader goes offline. But, in the time, it will be a spring bonanza for other competing aggregators like Feedly. Reportedly, More than 500,000 Google Reader users flocked to Feedly in just two days of the announcement as well as its chrome app has registered 704,342 users. Feedly is even planning to clone the Reader API to be the saviour of the handful of client apps relying on reader. The social sharing platform, Digg, is also joining the race by announcing to build its own version of Reader.
Either way, we’ll be drawing something out of Google Reader till July 1st, and in the meantime be looking for a brand new future-proof way stay in touch with our favourite web corners. In the mean time, the company has also shut down the Google Voice app for BlackBerry smartphones. Google is also pulling back its Snapseed photo editing app off the selves, as well as a number of other developer APIs.
Now that Google is giving the axe to Reader, let’s wait and watch whose turn comes next.