A day prior to the release of Samsung’s new Galaxy S IV smartphone, it was Google that stole the headlines in the technological realm. The day began when Google announced a major executive shakeup, with Android co-founder and head developer Andy Rubin stepping down in favor of Senior Vice President of Google Chrome Sundar Pichai.
Google followed that news with its second wave of “Spring Cleaning,” which is the closure of some its services so that it can focus its efforts on building great products that really matter. While most of the services that are closing are trivial—check out the complete list for yourself—a major one that is shutting down is Google Reader. As of July 1st, 2013, Google will officially retire the eight-year-old RSS feed aggregator.
The closure of Google Reader is significant, trending worldwide on Twitter as a result, although perhaps inevitable. The emergence of social networks, namely Twitter, along with more responsive news aggregators such as Pulse, make the necessity of Google Reader that much less. Google itself noted that usage of Reader was on the decline, a major reason why it is now on its deathbed.
As an avid user of Google Reader myself, this news was rather shocking. And, ironically, it was on Google Reader itself where I discovered the news. Maybe it is time that I move past the rather traditional RSS-based platform, but I’m still disappointed to see a service that I’ve been using for a number of years nearing retirement. Fortunately, there appear to be a number of worthwhile alternatives. It was a fun ride, Reader.