The final chapter has been announced for Google’s web feed aggregator Reader, with the service scheduled for closure on the first day of July.
Google announced the move on its official blog page, as part of a number of “spring cleaning” measures, including the retirement of Google Building Maker.
The writing was already on the wall for reader, mind you, when Google rejigged the service and integrated its social aspects with Google+ in an effort to bolster its social media side – one that many didn’t take kindly to.
There were certainly some folks who quit after that, and Google notes that user numbers had been falling.
The blog post states: “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.”
It does, however, seem strange that Google didn’t take the opportunity to attempt to monetise it before simply pulling the plug.
Getting some small adverts in there would possibly be preferable for many Reader users, rather than losing the service – judging by the number of people lamenting this move across the web today. For many people, Gmail and Reader are the only Google products they’re really bothered about (search excepted, of course).
At any rate, you’d have thought the data mined on users’ content feeds would have been a valuable resource Google would want to keep.
A petition has already gone up to help save Reader, with 21,000 signatories currently. Check it out here if you want to pledge your support.
Otherwise, if you’re a Reader user, you now have three and a bit months to export your data, and find another RSS alternative – unless Google can be persuaded to change its mind. That doesn’t seem likely, though.