Google Reader, Google’s popular RSS application, will be shut down on July 1 of this year. The company has revealed the news in a blog post that spells the end for another batch of Google features and products. The company has cited a decline in users as the main reason for Reader’s closure, though admits the service has a “loyal following”.
While the news may strike some as a shock, this latest round of what Google has called “spring cleaning” is part of a company-wide effort which has been ongoing since 2011, and has seen the loss of other declining products including iGoogle. This round’s casualties also include the Google Building Designer, a software for adding 3D building to Google Maps, and the Google Voice app for BlackBerry which the company hopes to replace with an HTML5 version.
Google Reader users looking to export their data can do so using the Google Takeout service, though the many RSS applications that already depend on Google Reader will cease to function.
In addition to a handful of API and developer closures the company is also shutting down Google Cloud Connect on April 30 and will no longer be selling or providing support for Snapseed Desktop on Windows or Mac (though the Android and iOS versions will remain in the App Stores, for free).
Google’s SVP of Technical Infrastructure, Urs Hölzle, broke the news, stating: “we need to focus—otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact … by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on building great products that really help in their lives.”
What do you think of the closure of Reader? Do you have any alternatives to recommend? Has Google lost the plot, or is this a smart move?
Source: Official Google Blog