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Google Reader Being Retired 386

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell-auf-weidersehen-goodbye dept.
Edgewood_Dirk writes "According to the official blog, Google Reader is being retired on July 1st, 2013. The main reasoning seems to be its decline in usage over the last few years. Users and developers will be able to retrieve their RSS data using Google Takeout."
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Google Reader Being Retired

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  • Petition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abrotman (323016) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @08:42PM (#43166145)

    For what it's worth ...

    https://www.change.org/petitions/google-keep-google-reader-running

    • Re:Petition (Score:5, Insightful)

      by niftydude (1745144) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:03PM (#43166347)
      Signed.

      I use this every day - and most people in my office who see how useful it is also convert.

      I'm not interested in the social integration/people following me/me following people that things like google takeout supply, just let me read my feeds in piece!
      • *peace*, damn.
        • Re:Petition (Score:5, Funny)

          by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @10:47PM (#43167083) Homepage

          Groovy.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        Likewise. Everyone who sees me using it becomes a user. This is quite disappointing. I wonder if they can recommend anything that replaces anywhere close to the functionality ...

        • They probably won't, but I recommend Fever (www.feedafever.com.) You host it yourself, so it's not getting retired anytime soon. Wish it were open source so I could fix a few bugs, but it still works great.
          • Re:Petition (Score:5, Informative)

            by Ford Prefect (8777) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:09AM (#43167607) Homepage

            If you want an open source, host-it-yourself web-app then there's Tiny Tiny RSS [tt-rss.org], as recommended by a co-worker.

            The site's been up and down all day for some completely inexplicable reason, but the brief glimpse I got of the live demo was pretty impressive. I escaped Google Reader nearly a year ago (the Google Plus 'integration' had been annoying me, and in a fit of pique I got rid of all Google dependencies I had) and while I've been mostly happy with the desktop-app Vienna RSS [vienna-rss.org] for Mac OS X, further alternatives are always welcome. I imagine someone will get an open cross-client sync working now that Google Reader is going away...

        • Re:Petition (Score:5, Informative)

          by All_One_Mind (945389) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @10:43PM (#43167061) Homepage Journal
          I used to use Google Reader but switched to Netvibes [netvibes.com] long ago. Provides the same features, similiar interface, but a lot more under the hood and better theme selection/customization imo. Plus, it's not Google, which is a big plus for me. Anything non-MS, non-Apple, non-Oracle, non-Google is a huge win in my book. Just my two cents, since you asked for recommendations.
          • by icebike (68054)

            Nothing even remotely like reader.
            There is no app. It depends on a browser. And it's curated? Really?

      • Re:Petition (Score:5, Insightful)

        by icebike (68054) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:17AM (#43167637)

        Signed.
        I'm not interested in the social integration/people following me/me following people that things like google takeout supply, just let me read my feeds in piece!

        Agreed. I need a replacement that syncs across multiple platforms. I don't need a magazine style layout. I learned to read. I don't need pictures. And I don't need some social community to validate my reading choices.

    • by meiao (846890)
      I'll sign it. But if it is not for every person on Earth, Google won't care about it.
      See find as you type in Chrome.
      https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=150 [google.com]
    • Re:Petition (Score:5, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:44PM (#43166639)
      Nice thought, but I think they know how many people are using it on a regular basis, and have probably figured out that if you're using it, you probably don't want to see it go away.
    • Re:Petition (Score:4, Insightful)

      by massysett (910130) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @10:40PM (#43167033) Homepage

      First I see people using Change.org to complain about Electronic Arts and its DRM; now this, a "petition" to ask Google to keep a product?

      To me it cheapens the notion of a "petition" to use it for this. The Change.org homepage spotlights domestic violence, migrant workers, firefighters, and more.

      It just seems whiny and self-entitled to me to gear up and "petition" a private company on such trivial stuff as an RSS reader, or DRM. Just find another reader. But, if Change.org does not want to filter out this crap...

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      I wonder, why don't they just sell the Reader service? Surely someone (Microsoft? Facebook?) would find it as a useful service and bring them a large installed base. Or alternately, why not just integrate it better with their existing facebook+ service that google has been pushing on everyone for a year now? Killing the goose that lays the golden social networking eggs seems pretty dumb. They also nuked a bunch of neat community features in Google Groups, and I was a little surprised to see them flat out a

  • by blarkon (1712194) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @08:43PM (#43166165)
    Refugees are already saying that http://theoldreader.com/ [theoldreader.com] is the replacement.
  • Alternatives? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jordan314 (1052648) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @08:44PM (#43166171)
    I'm super unhappy about this, I use google reader every day and Google Currents is no alternative. Which alternatives do people like?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They're getting rammed hard with traffic right now but try one of these:

      http://www.newsblur.com/
      http://theoldreader.com/

      • by Phil Urich (841393) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:52PM (#43166715) Journal

        Why the hell does TheOldReader not have an API? "We're working on an iOS app" just doesn't cut it for the kind of crazy weirdos (like me) that use Google Reader.

        I mean, hell, even on my Nokia N9---a platform stabbed and left to die bleeding by the side of the road---there are multiple Google Reader syncing RSS clients. That's what I want Google Reader for, as a central sync repository for my RSS feed reading (some on a desktop at home, some on a desktop at work, some on a tablet, some on a phone, some on my e-reader, etc etc). If sites like TheOldReader are just a website and, at best, an app or two they write themselves for a few of the largest platforms then they're nearly as useless to me as Google Reader will soon be.

        NewsBlur seems slightly better in that their apps for the mainstream platforms already exist, but that's still extremely weak compared to the flexibility of interface and location that the current Google Reader + APIs have allowed for.

    • Re:Alternatives? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @08:56PM (#43166297)

      Google is famous for just dropping products, if you are not prepared for your favorite thing to just 'disappear' or a forced migration don't rely on Google.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by detritus. (46421)

      Netvibes [netvibes.com] is a good alternative that has a "Reader" mode plus a widget mode. However one thing I noticed with both Google Reader and especially Netvibes is it can choke and become sluggish with several thousand unread items in my browser.

      As far as native clients go in Linuxland, Liferea [lzone.de] is a maturing and blazingly fast GTK client that suits my needs.

    • I recently migrated away from Google Reader. I have a cron job which runs Planet [planetplanet.org] to generate an HTML page from my feeds. Then I just pull up the page in my browser and read at my leisure.

      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        honestly... that sounds really awful. but at least you're stubborn enough to make something you want for yourself, which is more than 99%. Kudos to you.
    • by ElmoGonzo (627753)
      Before I found Reader, I had RSS feeds grouped together in a bookmarks folder. I suppose I could go back to that system but I've gotten used to hitting the same list of unread items (and the option to keep any of them unread) from any of my several desktop browsers or from the mobile device. It really is a shame that something which is useful (but not used by "enough" ad-reading wetware devices) is considered obsolete so quickly. I guess Google wants to invest more of their money in privacy-invading stre
    • Feedly (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mitaphane (96828) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @10:00PM (#43166775) Homepage

      Feedly seems to be the best alternative if you've become accustomed to using Google Reader. It synchronizes itself with Google Reader (or it will until July). It even has some the same keyboard shortcuts. Transitioning is seamless; it uses Google's OAuth to gain access to your Google account and pull in all your feeds & tags.

      It looks like the app is a little slow right now as they are dealing with the surge in demand.

      http://blog.feedly.com/2013/03/14/google-reader/ [feedly.com]

      • Requires Google OAuth to login, needs a firefox plugin just to display the content.

        Isn't that a little bit of overkill just to provide an RSS feed?
    • I highly recommend turning your RSS items into emails. You can then read them from any IMAP client (or via webmail), and you get synchronization for free.

      There's at least one web-based service that'll do this for you (feed2mail), but I've had good success with running feed2imap [gna.org] as a cron job.

      (Disclaimer: I wrote my own feed2imap-like tool, which is what I'm actually using now. It's not ready for public consumption, though.)
  • Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    A decline in usage? I'm pretty sure many people use it, and I personally use it quite a lot. It's a good alternative to client-based RSS readers, and I don't think Google should retire it.

    • Because they made it hard to get to. It used to have a link up on the top bar and they used promote it.

      Now you have to wade through a dropdown menu to get there but can instead get to youtube and the play store with one click. Hell...I go to youtube all of the time and have never clicked that link.

    • by Junta (36770) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @11:48PM (#43167511)

      The plain and simple truth is that Facebook style usage is more valuable or at least perceived as more valuable. RSS consumption is too passive by nature. Even when it did have the ability to 'share' items with friends (before trying to force those people over to Google plus), comments and notes were rare and an existing article was pretty much required before any discussion would happen (yes, you could create a note and share without an article attached, but the UI design didn't really encourage that usage. Now with even that removed, Google doesn't extract a lot of value from the users. It is a respectable implementation, but not a profitable one.

      I personally plan to explore self-hosted solutions. I intended to when google reader dropped the share feature, but was too lazy and it still worked fine as a standalone reader.

  • Declining? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by countach (534280) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @08:57PM (#43166303)

    When they say it is declining, I wonder if they mean the web site only, or if they include all the apps out there that use it as their storage mechanism. The major loss here is that google reader is the standard. I can use half a dozen different RSS readers and know they all synch with Google Reader, and I can swap between them. Oh, and I know if one day I only have web access, Google's own web interface is pretty nice too.

    Don't do it Google! I realize that Reader probably doesn't benefit you much directly, but it's a super important part of "the Google experience".

    • by alen (225700)

      most people don't subscribe to RSS feeds. too much work

      with facebook, G+, twitter and other social crap being used to notify people of blog posts

      • by ClintJCL (264898)
        So your argument is - it's easier to check 3 sites than 1? In a sense, that is true. In another sense, the way you've phrased it is a bit inaccurate. But in another sense, it's pretty damn annoying the hoops you have to jump through to get twitter and facebook on google reader, and Google never even made rss feeds for G+ posts, which was ridiculous. Can't win. Guess we'll have to check 3 sites forever.
        • by Pseudonym (62607)

          Speak for yourself. Personally, I've already stopped checking two of those sites regularly.

      • by detritus. (46421)

        The worst part of this is Facebook nixed RSS for Pages a while back. It really pissed me off as I now have to have an account to keep up on businesses/musicians/organizations I follow that post exclusive or more in-depth content on their FB pages.

    • by WiPEOUT (20036)

      all the apps out there that use it as their storage mechanism

      Maybe this traffic and storage free-riding by other applications has hastened its demise.

  • by kju (327)

    I was a satisfied user of Bloglines for many years until it was overtaken and crippled by some Internet business. I reluctantly switched to Google Reader which had many shortcomings (e.g. no really persistent "keep unread" feature), but I got used to it because it was the only usable web RSS reader left.

    Any now Google is killing this one as well. Thank you very much. Not.

  • What a shame (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:03PM (#43166349)

    I realize that Google Reader probably did not make enough money, and/or drive enough traffic, to justify its continued existence. But I spend more time on Google Reader than any other website, by a considerable margin, and I'll miss it.

    I'd even pay, if they offered it as a subscription service for a nominal fee.

    • by ftobin (48814) *

      There is no question I'd pay for Google reader. One of the great properties it has is that searching for subscriptions is extremely easy.

    • If someone came up with something similar to iGoogle + Reader for say $10/month would it be worth it to you?
  • Grudge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Exitar (809068) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:12PM (#43166421)

    "Oh, you didn't use Buzz and you aren't using Google+?
    Well, now we're closing something you actually use!
    That will show you to belittle our products!"

  • Is 2005 back? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aurelian (551052) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:22PM (#43166477)
    I have just moved back to Linux from OS X, RSS and Google Reader is on the way out, so it looks like I'll be reading mailing lists instead, and I'm posting on Slashdot again.
  • And with it goes... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:30PM (#43166529)

    ... the only reason I have and log into a Google account.

  • Several of the alternative web rss readers sites (like NewsBlur [newsblur.com]) are having trouble coping with the amount of people checking for good alternative web based rss readers. I suppose that they will manage to scale with time, but at the moment of the google announcement should had been hard to access.
  • Sue them! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:35PM (#43166577)

    I say we start a class action suit and demand our money back. In fact, I want at least twice the money I've paid them back...

  • by dhart (1261) * <dhartNO@SPAMsftower.com> on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:42PM (#43166633)
    From Samuel Clay's twitter posts today - https://twitter.com/NewsBlur [twitter.com]. Remember, NewsBlur is 100% open-source (web, iOS apps, Android). Follow @samuelclay on GitHub: http://github.com/samuelclay [github.com]. Today's not such a hot day in terms of speed, but the next three months will be full throttle. I was preparing to launch the re-design in TWO weeks, not today. I'm spinning up more servers to handle the onslaught.
  • Here we go again (Score:5, Interesting)

    by srichard25 (221590) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:45PM (#43166655)

    I had put a lot of time into Google Notebook. I was using it to maintain a very active log of technical documentation. I carefully choose tags to make it easy to find the information I needed quickly, and I spent a lot of time pruning the information to keep it clean. Then Google said they were no longer going to develop Notebook.

    I started using Google Reader to catalog technical articles. Once again, putting a lot of time/thought into tagging and notes to make it as useful as possible. Now Google is dropping Reader.

    If the product is not making enough money from data/ads, then at least give people the opportunity to pay for it. I would gladly pay for Notebook and/or Reader!

    Should I put the time and effort into gmail? Is that the next Google product to just disappear?? After being burnt twice, I will be thinking carefully before putting a lot of effort into a free Google product.

    • by glwtta (532858) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:29AM (#43167701) Homepage
      Oh, calm down. All this means is that you have to export [google.com] your stuff, and import into a different, nearly [netvibes.com] identical [newsblur.com] service [feedly.com].

      What do you want them to do, anyway? Swear a blood-oath that once they start up a service, they will continue with it forever?

      If they don't think it makes sense to commit the resources to maintain it, then it's certainly not going to make sense to maintain a paid version - not everything is about revenue.

      You act like this is some kind of galling defect in Google's collective moral fibre - some things don't stick, it happens.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:49PM (#43166685)

    Google pretty much demonstrates the iron-cast reason why you shouldn't move your apps to the cloud every time they have another round of "cleaning."

  • by djh2400 (1362925) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @10:32PM (#43166987)

    Immediately after seeing the original post from the Google Reader blog, I started looking for a solution. It seems that practically every RSS program or service out there actually uses Google Reader as a centralized syncing platform.

    I read news through RSS feeds at different computers throughout the day and on different OSes. The ability for a service to synchronize between all the places I access the feeds is paramount in a replacement. Thus, all those services which use Google Reader for syncing purposes will break once Google shuts down Reader, so, sadly, they are not a viable option as things stand right now.

    I do like some of the alternatives posted by other commenters; I'll check out some of them when I have the time. I also signed the petition in one of the first comments above — it may have no effect, but it's worth trying, I suppose.

    • by Bremic (2703997) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:19AM (#43167651)

      I found this funny. There are Reader Clients for both iOS and Android that are rated as top apps. This means there must have been huge numbers of downloads of those apps, and large numbers of people using them - all requiring Google Reader.

      Yet Google Reader has few users... this just doesn't add up.

      It strikes me this is purely a Google+ selling point, and one that I suspect isn't going to work.

  • by barlevg (2111272)
    Anyone know of an RSS feed reader for Android besides Google Reader that handles mouseover text (aka alt text)?
  • by darkfeline (1890882) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @11:20PM (#43167277)

    Google Reader was the last web app I use, and Google decided to cement the reason why I moved to local apps in the first place. So with Google finally abandoning me and fellow Reader users, what Linux replacements are there? I'm trying out Liferea at the moment, going to see how that works out.

    Sayonara Google, it's been fun.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @11:32PM (#43167397)

    I just went and deleted my Google+ account in protest of this and I would suggest that others do also. You are given an opportunity to tell Google why you are leaving Google+ and it seems to me there is no better place to sound off on this incredibly stupid decision to kill Reader.

  • TF? So does this mean my droid gReader 3rd party app will stop working July 1 as well? i.e. this is a Google complete back-end shutdown...?
    'Currents' looks like a piss-poor replacement if I can't even get local top newspaper feeds...seriously Google??? :-/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @11:42PM (#43167469)

    With everything being in the cloud, what if the cloud is gone someday. The google reader is just an example here.
    If google reader is just a desktop app, we can happily conitnue to use it even it is abandoned.
    But if it is in the cloud, we are screwed.

  • by smegfault (2001252) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @11:49PM (#43167515)
    After messing around for an hour trying NewsBlur to work, I exported my RSS data from Google Reader and imported it to Thunderbird. Bye bye Google Reader.
  • Best in class (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ftobin (48814) * on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:06AM (#43167593) Homepage

    It's one thing to shut down a product that is didn't make it out of the gate (e.g., Buzz), but it's another to shut down a product that is considered to be the premier product in its space.

    I've been using Google products for a long time, and have understood most of their shutdowns. I used to think that as long as the service wasn't "experimental", it'd stick around. But going forward, I have 0 trust, since obviously even having the #1 product isn't enough.

  • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:22AM (#43167671)

    This kind of thing is one of the reasons I made that Marge Simpson murmur when my last company's head of IT declared that we were Googleizing. Part of Google's pitch is to list the huge number of apps and tools they have available. Trouble is, you can deeply integrate those apps into your company's procedures, then Google decides to clean house and discontinue something that's become critical to your company and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

  • Oh, statistics... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slasho81 (455509) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:39AM (#43168015)
    Statistics as always ruin everything.

    So usage is declining. But who continues to use Google Reader? Everyone who leads the social web, as evident by this story exploding everywhere. Google retiring Reader got more press than any Google innovation got in years.

    Maybe Google should use the statistics of attention and rage rather than usage for deciding this one.
  • by Celarent Darii (1561999) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:55AM (#43168401)

    Seriously guys, don't rely on third parties. If something is important to you, make it yourself!

    I thought all serious slashdotters used GNUS for RSS feeds [gnu.org]. Works great and you can customize it.

  • The outrage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slasho81 (455509) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @03:02AM (#43168429)
    I've seen so many "Fuck you Google" said today I'm beginning to think Google has officially transitioned into being the new Microsoft.
  • Clumsy move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wheelbarrio (1784594) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @08:30AM (#43169783)
    I accept that Google knows their own metrics and usage is declining, but am surprised no-one in marketing asked - what *kind* of users are the ones who still use Reader? Because the answer is - evangelizers. Sophisticated technology users who find RSS incredibly useful. More broadly, folks that love their technology, and many who see Google as a great technology company. This is in practice, if not intent, a narrow-beam fuck you to those folks. Oops.
  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @09:42AM (#43170367)

    IMO: this is a real problem with using any google service, other than the search engine.

    You never know when Google is going to pull the rug out from under you. Google does this sort of thing all the time. How can we trust any service from Google?

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