Google has announced to stop supporting Google Reader and shut it down as a service. This will be a big blow people who consume most of their information using RSS feeds. I for one visit Google Reader several times a day to check on the latest posts from my favorite blogs. Google Reader will shut down on July 1, 2013. That leaves users about three months to find something new.
Google suggests that dwindling usage and focus on newer things at Google is the reason for shutting down the service. I will be very surprised they just allowed these users to move to other platforms and not give users something useful with Google+.
If you are thinking of using FeedDemon, a service that is similar to Google Reader, then think again. FeedDemon too announced they will be shutting down their service as it was dependent on Google Reader for synchronization.
RSS is Dying!
The fact is RSS feeds are dying. Check major news publications and they do not support RSS feeds. It is a simple option but it never caught on. Media consumption is being done through more and more via social networks. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more are all allowing users to consume and discover content. The advantage with RSS feeds is you had a lot more control over the type of content you were to discover. The disadvantage is that you do not easily come across newer type of content, blogs and writers. That lack of social layer on RSS feeds is what is making it unpopular over time.
The best part of RSS feed readers is that we were not stuck with one. We can more from one service to another. I cannot do that with Facebook. For instance I cannot move my Facebook lists to Twitter or Google+. Social media controls your data and makes you stay loyal but making it difficult for you to move it away to another social network.
The saddest part of this is that I doubt some new startup will actually find a way to leverage the loss of Google Reader. This is because no successful start-up company would ever work at providing a service where the number of users are actually shrinking. RSS feeds are simply all set to die.
Google might kill Feedburner!
Google might kill off another product called Feedburner soon. This was basically a RSS feed manager and is a very popular tool for bloggers. If you are reading this post on a RSS feed or on email (because you subscribed to it) it is being served to you through Feedburner.
Feedburner has also suffered a lot of neglect from Google and I won't be surprised that a year from now Google Reader and Feedburner was something that safely belonged to the distant past.