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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 Great Personalized Start Pages: 6 Alternatives To iGoogle Great Personalized Start Pages: 6 Alternatives To iGoogle If you’ve not yet heard, Google plans to pull the plug on iGoogle in November 2013 in addition to a few other services like Google Video and Google Mini. Though the company have yet to... Read More .  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

  1. anakim
    May 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

    LOL and right next to this is a link to...

    Perhaps you should write an article on the services to avoid cos they don't help Google et al focus (read: make a boatload of cash without paying taxes)?

  2. suneo nobi
    March 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    There is a easy way out to migrate and import your subscriptions if you use Maxthon browser..................................................

  3. SaapeXD MoHods
    March 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    IS there a replica of google Reader? XD

  4. Samuel Almeida
    March 15, 2013 at 10:53 am

    [Sorry for the repeat]

    Like many others have commented, I'm still struggling to understand the reasons behind this move.

    Is the service so time, server, human resource consuming that it has to be wiped off the grid? I mean, I can understand that money matters... but they could have easily left Google Reader in the state it currently is. Who cares if Google gets redesigned or something like that... I'm perfectly fine using it with its current aspect, even if it doesn't follow it's brother products.

    I'm disappointed.

  5. Samuel
    March 15, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Like many others have commented, I'm still struggling to understand the reasons behind this move.

    Is the service so time, server, human resource consuming that it has to be wiped off the grid? I mean, I can understand that money matters... but they could have easily left Google Reader in the state it currently is. Who cares if Google gets redesigned or something like that... I'm perfectly fine using it with its current aspect, even if it doesn't follow it's brother products.

    I'm disappointed.

  6. macwitty
    March 15, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Sad - I have stared to use feedly and hope it will work out well.

  7. suneo nobi
    March 15, 2013 at 7:29 am

    so sad!!!!!

  8. Nevzat A
    March 15, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I just switched to Feedly, unfortunately it's slow. Today's good news is Digg working on a Google Reader replacement with a compatible API :

  9. Anand
    March 15, 2013 at 4:08 am

    The old reader is worthy of note. They dont have a huge fan base. But its gives you a look of google reader and its simple.. With the recent events I hope they will improve much more on their presentation..
    And feedly is good.. But i dont want it with very rich UI... It needs to be simple and to the point.
    I think it will be really hard to get a good alternative for Google Reader

  10. John
    March 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    As there is no personal data Google can harvest from its users using reader then this shows what Google really thinks of its users (cant make money from ya personal data ill dump the service). There are plenty of better RSS readers out there even Firefox has great RSS reader addons. If Google doesn't care then do what i did and move on to better services.

  11. Jake Shakespeare
    March 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Make no mistake: Google is interested in one thing only--the number of eyeballs on ads, nothing else. The problem with free services is that you have no say in their ultimate fate. I've lost iGoogle, and before that the notes service, and now G-reader.

    I'm not going to be corralled onto the misbegotten Google Plus, which seems to be their plan here. In fact I'm going to wean myself off of Gmail and Calendar, which are my last two Google services. It's worth paying for something to make sure it doesn't get yanked out from under you.

    • Tim Brookes
      March 15, 2013 at 12:03 am

      This. This whole comment.

      Google couldn't care less about a service unless it can fill it to the brim with adverts. Who's excited about Project Glass now, then?

  12. Max
    March 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    What the heck?? What is google thinking now? Where else are we supposed to go?

    Google reader was one of my most often-used google products!

  13. Graham Richardson
    March 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    This is sad and worrying too. Apart from GMail Reader is probably the service I use more than anything else. Although I am sure I will find a replacement (and I will be relying on MUO for any decent suggestions!) it is a real pain to loose such a great service - it just works!

    More worrying is the general trend to shut down popular services like this. I am a real Google person. I use many of their services including Blogger and Sites. Is it safe to continue to invest my time in these services? Should I bite the bullet and find alternatives now?

    • Max
      March 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Not just yet.. google shuts down things that aren't in active use.. although this may have been an exception.

      Blogger has tons of frequently accessed blogs and sites is the official host of the chromium project, so I doubt they will be shut down yet.

    • Tim Brookes
      March 15, 2013 at 12:02 am

      Google has a nasty habit of doing things like this, though usually they give their users more notice (iGoogle got a year I think). Google has put a lot of effort into Blogger and Sites over the last few years (particularly the responsive Blogger designs and templates) plus the company actively uses Blogger for their news announcements so I think you'll be ok for now. Sites I'm not so sure about!

  14. John Wallach
    March 14, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    This sucks! Anyone know of a way to transfer all my current Google reader feeds to another reader without having to transfer one at a time?

    • Randy Menard
      March 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      John: if you go to the settings gear in Reader, you will see import/export choice in the menu bar. Click on that and use Takeout to create a zip file for your reader subscriptions. It will download to your computer. Unzip the file and in the archive you will see a file called "subscriptions.xml". Open your new reader, (I am using Liferea in Mint 13 again) import that file. All your subscriptions will be there. Hope this helps.

      • John Wallach
        March 14, 2013 at 8:24 pm

        Thanks for your suggestion. I'll give it a try.

        • Tim Brookes
          March 15, 2013 at 12:00 am

          Don't forget it also depends on the service you're migrating to accepting that file, and if the service you're opting for doesn't accept it at the moment then surely in a few updates it will (so be patient, I guess)!

  15. Diana Lane
    March 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I'm very bummed. I don't use Firefox and don't know what to switch to on IE.

  16. Surfer
    March 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    This is the bad move by Google. I depend on Google Reader alot. Created and organized tags based on the content I am reading the blogs.

    Now I am screwed and fucked up. Don't know how to export tags.

    One day, They will remove Gmail and make us to move to Google+.

  17. 1hegame
    March 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    For me There are just NO Alternatives. All flipboard, netvibes, feedly, feeddemon are FAIL for me.

    • Max
      March 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Same here. I want something simple that's linked to my google account.

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      Something with a kick-ass API, tons of apps that integrate and dead simple operation? Yeah we might be waiting a short while but I'm sure there's plenty of people scrambling to build the next big RSS thing.

  18. Asif Mdsh
    March 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    This is stupid! Why do they want to shut down Google Reader of all things??? I use Google Reader more than any of the Google's services...

    If this was Gmail, then I wouldn't mind it much. But it's Google Reader & there's no RSS reader out there in Market anywhere near its goodness?

    I hope this is some kinda jokes or something. :(

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      Gmail would be far worse. Seriously, this news sucks I agree but you have to remember it's a lot easier to export your feeds, sort out a replacement news reader and adjust than it is to lose your email provider.

  19. Bryan R. Adams
    March 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Sad day. There are many of us who have remained true to RSS and the features of Google Reader.

  20. Bilal Ahmed
    March 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    i daily use google reader and it is more important for me than facebook or any other social media. There is great protest from users all around the world after this stupid decision from google. Now it is doubtful for users to use any google service because google can close it anytime. There are petitions available on to save google reader. I think google will reconsider this stupid decision.

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      I doubt petitions will make much difference, though I agree with you a news reader is entirely different to a social network. I don't think Google sees this, and would rather us all follow our respective sources on Google+ instead. That would be all well and good if Google+ came anywhere near a replacement for a good old fashioned feed, but from a publisher's point of view it's still lacking many features.

  21. Uchitha Jayathissa
    March 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    going to loose a nice tool.

  22. Mayur Godhani
    March 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    So sad news for bloggers who used to get latest updates through RSS feeds using Google Reader :(

  23. Diane Elhard
    March 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    So far, I like Feedly. I'm still hoping Google comes to it's senses, changes it's mind and GR gets to stay, but if it doesn't, I'll transition. Feedly is promising to import all your stuff ( I've already tried it and it even imported my starred stuff ) and to be as much like GR as possible, so we'll see. I'm going to try some others too and see what I think.

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      I personally think it's unlikely Google will reverse the decision, though I really hope they do even if it's just to extend the deadline a little while the rest of the web gets its stuff together. They didn't reverse the decision to close iGoogle and a lot of people were disgruntled, but then they weren't necessarily the loud journo/blogger types that use Google Reader. In that respect, Reader's fanbase can kick up a very big stink.

  24. toko grosir kosmetik - 1tokogrosir
    March 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Woow This is bad… I rely on Google Reader a lot for all my site.

    may alternative options out there?

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      Look out for a dedicated post on MUO about this soon, we're collecting as many quality alternatives as we can and sticking them all in a post :)

  25. Scott
    March 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    As I commented in the other recent thread on readers, NewsBlur (my favorite) has received quite a large number of new users as a result of this announcement, so many that the developer has had to reduce the number of sites the reader's free account level follows (from 64 to 12) ! And it's been very slow as a result of the influx of new subscribers. But many like it so much, they're willing to pay the $1/mo. for the service. I just may do so, too. :-)

  26. Rick Shortt
    March 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    First Picasa Web Albums, now this. What's next - gmail and search? Or maybe Chrome? I like Google and have heavily switched to it for many things but it sucks when they get rid of great things that you've come to rely on heavily : (

  27. rolio
    March 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Rolio ( is an alternative to Google Reader which, in addition to RSS, also supports the integration of Facebook and Twitter into your timeline for real-time updates. Rolio also supports the importing of your Google Reader feeds.

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      I can't help but think we're going to see a lot of similar services popping up in the near future. Thanks for the shout.

    • Diane Elhard
      March 16, 2013 at 2:14 am

      Feedly also allows you to see updates from Twitter and Facebook. I've been using it for a couple of days and I sort of like it. Not like I "like" and "count on" Google Reader, but if Google insists on doing this, I'll make the transition ok.

  28. Dave Bakker
    March 14, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    This makes me sad also, I use reader all the time to follow m,y free books on amazon and many other feeds. I am trying Netvibes but am not liking it too much yet. I will take a peek at Feedly also

  29. Rademaker
    March 14, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I don't understand the need for wiping it out completely. If they just kept the software as it is, I would have used it for another 10 years. How much effort does it take to maintain such a simple program? Can't they sell or give the service to some other organization or person?

    I hope someone makes an alternative reader that is in as many ways as possible exactly identical to google reader. I've tried some alternatives but the small differences make the transition annoying. The first alternative I tried actually crashed on me.

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      In the grand scheme of things I'd have thought that the cost of keeping Reader going costs virtually nothing considering the money Google is making elsewhere. That is of course just an assumption, but I'd be shocked if I was wrong.

      • Tug R
        March 15, 2013 at 5:25 am

        I would assume that you're correct. There are probably other motivations for shutting it down; such as directing users to Google+.

  30. Meena Bassem
    March 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    WT** are they doing that? i use it daily even much more than facebook, and i really like that i can get the feeds, and star some of them and keep them for reading later. and i don't think there an alternative that's good enough as google reader, why does it bother them? why don't they just keep it going?

    • Tim Brookes
      March 14, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      Because they are Google and only really care if they can make money on advertising using it. That and it wasn't the ineffable source of Google+ shareables the company dreamed of. Google doesn't care about end users, that much has been demonstrated with the closure of iGoogle, slapping a price tag on Apps and now the closure of Reader.

      If it's not overpriced AR glasses that pump adverts into your skull...

  31. Jerry
    March 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    'Feedly' works well for me. They already interface with Google Reader and they are gearing up for many new users because of the shutdown.

  32. Shafiq Khan
    March 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    This is sad news... I rely on Google Reader a lot for all my news. :-(

    Any alternative options out there?

    • Bilal Ahmed
      March 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      You can use feedly which offers to import all of your google reader data. So it will be an easy shift.

      • Max
        March 14, 2013 at 7:41 pm

        I personally am not a big fan of feedly, as it has ads and is focused on READING articles, while I just want a tool to stay updated.

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