Last night, when news of Google Reader’s demise hit the web, journalists and bloggers everywhere let out a collective scream. A Change.org petition sprang up immediately, begging the honchos at Google to reconsider their decision. Alas, it seems that 50,000 signatures won’t be enough—Reader will populate its last RSS feed on July 1. Predictably, Hitler was super pissed:
It might not be glamorous the way Glass is, but Reader is an essential part of life for many who work online. The humble RSS feed reader is the only reliable way to keep up with the warp-speed metabolism of the Internet news cycle. If your job (like ours) relies on keeping track of dozens of blogs and hundreds of posts every day, Reader is absolutely indispensable. For proof of that, one need only take a peek at the apoplectic Twitter rage that followed last night’s announcement.
Google has been trimming Reader features since 2011, foreshadowing its last gasp. It seems that killing the product may be part of a strategic plan to boost sharing on Google+. According to Google, the decision was spurred by declining usage (pshaw!) and the need to focus on a few essential products. “As a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products,” reads the press release. “We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”
As many have pointed out, there are several reasonable alternatives to Google Reader, and we’ll have a few months to figure out what works best. But for anyone whose day begins and ends with Reader, it’s still sad to see it go.