Google Reader, the eight-year-old RSS reader that became an industry standard, has been given a funeral date: July 1, 2013. "We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites," says Google. "While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader."
People are not happy about this:
It's rare for a large tech company to create a beloved new product, and, at least for a few years, that's what Google Reader was. Not only did it become the de facto back end for a generation of RSS reader apps and an indispensable tool for news junkies (if it seems like you're hearing an awful lot about this over the next couple days, that's because nearly every journalist working online uses Google Reader to some extent), it actually developed a sharing culture unto itself.
But by the time "sharebros," as they were called, protested Google's decision to redesign the service in 2011, removing its original sharing functionality and folding it into Google+, it was too late. Twitter had overtaken RSS as the news distribution channel of choice. Reader's death, though it's coming a bit sooner than expected, was inevitable.
In December, Rob Fishman dove deep on the rise and fall of Google Reader — or, as he called it, Google's lost social network. Read more here: