Co.Design

Google Kills Google Reader. Hitler Reacts

The death of Google Reader, an essential product for many who work on the web, was met with petitions and rage last night. And the inevitable Hitler reaction video.

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.

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2 Comments

  • Renato Murakami

    Oh the irony... if something, closing Google Reader will make me to use Google+ even less. I only used it because I tied it with Google Reader, being a repository of the most interesting feeds I read. In fact, if I don't find a replacement that automatically shares feeds into Google+, I'll just stop using it period.

    Of all the crap moves Google could've done, this comes to me as the worst.
    Close Wave, close Buzz (thanks God!), they could have even closed Google+ and docs. Yes, even docs. I wouldn't be as pissed.
    But Reader? It's like they have one of the best options out there to manage RSS feeds and instead of upgrading it, explore it a bit more, invest... they are simply closing it. I wouldn't be lying if I said I used Reader more than search and Gmail. But all three are essencial.
    I heard and tested several alternatives, but still waiting for one that has the keyboard shortcuts and integration with automatization services that is as simple and fast as Google Reader.
    Another thing: Glass would benefit a lot by having a RSS feed feature. So this move sounds even more stupid to me.