Google to shut down Google Reader on July 1, 2013 and 7 other services
SAN FRANCISCO: Google said Wednesday it was tossing its Reader service and seven other products under a house cleaning campaign that has closed 70 of the Internet giant’s features in the past two years.
Google said users and developers interested in alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with “Google Takeout” service over the course of the next four months.
Google senior vice president of technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle announced the shut down in blog post today, saying that while people still show some love for the RSS reader, its user numbers have been dwindling.
Before Google shuts down its service, it allows users to download a copy of all their Reader data before July 1. 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, and users will receive their subscription data in an XML file.
Google Reader lets users subscribe to and read feeds from all manner of publishers, in a format that resembles an e-mail in-box. Loved by information junkies, the nearly eight-year-old service was once among the most popular ways of tracking large numbers of news sites, blogs and other publishers. It was also an early experiment for Google in social networking, as the service’s sharing features inspired friendships and even marriages. Diehard fans of the service called themselves “sharebros,” as was detailed last year in a lengthy, definitive feature on Buzzfeed.
The shutdown, as The Next Webnotes, doesn’t just concern Google: third party applications using Google Reader’s API will need to find workarounds to keep their users going. Some, such as Feedly, TNW reports, have already stepped up to the plate. Feedly said it’ll clone Reader’s API while other popular RSS services have announced that they’ll expand their models to cope with Reader refugees.
The good news is that Google Reader users have until July 1 to download their feeds, and developers are already looking at options to fill the void. Most RSS reader apps will continue to work after July 1, too, although they won’t be able to sync with other devices since they rely on Google Reader for that feature.
The irony is that before Reader took over the market, developers had their own systems for syncing and managing feeds and now Google has put them back in a position where they’ll likely have to do the same again.
It’s too bad that Holder wasn’t quizzed about those specific points as well. The fact that he was able to mischaracterize the actions by the US Attorney’s office in how they went after Swartz is really unfortunate.
Support for Google Voice’s app for Blackberry handsets will end next week.
“For Blackberry users who want to continue using Google Voice, we recommend they use our HTML5 app, which is more secure and easier for us to keep up to date,” Holzle said.