Google’s announcement earlier this year that they would be getting rid of their RSS feed aggregator, Google Reader, was more of a shock. Not only did it manage to gain quite a bit of popularity over the years, but it has many applications that made it a heavily used tool for professionals
In the past Google has always been unrepentant when it comes to shutting down projects and services. They stick with what is working, and if something isn’t then it gets the chop. It is an effective business model that has worked well for them in the past, and provided more success for those services that make it into the mainstream consciousness.
But still why would they end Google Reader project?
While some people have pointed out that the popularity of Google Reader was due more to devoted followers than a high user count, that wasn’t the only cause. Breaking the silence on their reasoning, the Internet mega-giant opened up about why they chose to toss it out with their other discarded services.
According to Senior Director of News & Social Products, Richard Gringras, we just don’t gather information the way that we used to. It was once common to sit down in the morning with a cup of coffee and catch up on the news. Or to unwind after work and read about the happenings around the world.
But people now have a different approach. It is more common to snatch up information through the day. Different sources, like news sites, social networking sites and massive gathering spots like Reddit are offering up those news morsels whenever we want them. We just have to pick up our smartphones and take a peek during our lunch break.
In other words, the “traditional” way of using RSS feeds is no longer relevant. Which means it is time for Google to move on, even if Google Reader continues to have its devoted followers.
The company is currently seeking out new ways to offer news on a more consistent, new-wave friendly basis. But until then, other sources remain.
For those who are already facing withdraws from Google Reader, and want that RSS service back? They have plenty of alternatives out there, including Netvibes, apps/plugins like Feedly, or content composition tool Google Pipes. Updates can still be aggregated through other services, and presented in a customizable format. Even if it isn’t exactly the same.
It will be exciting to see what Google has in store, next.