Google has announced that it is killing off Google Reader, its RSS aggregator that let people subscribe to news feeds from different websites, on 1st July 2013.
Reader debuted in 2005 as a Google Labs, before emerging as its own product in 2007. While other RSS options existed, Reader held a dedicated fan base due to many of its social features that let users friend, follow and share stories with others.
Reader's demise is not entirely unexpected, in 2011, Google removed the ability to natively share content, replacing it with a Google + sharing option. Furthermore, updates have been sporadic and, last month, when many users started reporting problems, it reportedly took Google several days to even commenting on it.
On the Google Reader blog, Alan Green, Google Software Engineer posted why Reader was going away:
There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.
Ahead of the 1st July termination date, Google is now offering users a way to export their Reader content, including lists of users that they follow and starred and liked articles.
And for those of you that can't live without Reader, Feedly has announced that it is planning a clone of the service called Normandy with the intent that. "when Google Reader shuts down, Feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using Feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless."
Source: Google Reader Blog