Google to shutter Reader on July 1st, but you didn’t use it anyway, right?

Google has announced it will shutter its RSS service, Reader, on July 1st after several years of ignominious uncertainty. In a blog post yesterday, the team claimed that, “while the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined.”

For millions of users who depend on Google Reader every day, this declining user base is largely irrelevant; we need our Google Reader. But there are other services available — Feedly, Flipboard and NewsBlur come to mind — that have moved news and media consumption into the new decade. People largely find the text-heavy layout difficult to abide in a world of pictures, easy-reading fonts and mobile apps.

Those mobile apps, though, are the remaining lifeblood of Google Reader. I use Press for Android and Reeder for iOS every day; those are the tools I use to turn text-heavy Google Reader into beautiful, manageable feeds.

Google has poked the bear with this announcement: thousands of users took to the social networks and wrote blog posts voicing their distress over Reader’s closure. This is unlikely to sway Google either way — Reader needs to go, it’s true — but there are enormous opportunities for new entrants to the market here. Feedly has already promised its own Reader API clone, which will ensure a smooth transition.

Update: people seem to be interpreting this post as an endorsement for the shutting down of Google Reader. I do not support the move in general, but believe that since Google has removed the majority of its engineering team from the project, Reader should die a clean death than waste away. It will also provide competitors the opportunity to build upon what made Reader great in the first place; Digg has committed to building a Reader API that improves upon the original.

Source: Google