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Google Reader Terminal?



Google has announced that Google Reader, its RSS aggregation system, will be turned off on July 1st. Citing years of declining usage, Reader is one of several victims of the advertising giant’s periodic “spring cleaning.”

The Reader RSS platform had a popular Web front-end, and was also used to provide behind-the-scenes support for a wide range of RSS clients.

Current users of Reader will be able to export their list of feeds up until the cut-off date using Google’s Takeout facility.

This will amount to a significant life change, and not in a positive direction. I suppose that the writing was on the wall when Google shifted all sharing to G+, which functionally reduced the value of sharing to virtually nil. A terrible decision.

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  • Bruce Baugh

    Friends told me to check out Feedly, which turns out to have a plan for this contingency. I’m happy to recommend them – neat stuff.

    • Hael

      Oh damn this is why I should stay a lurker. Pretend my feedly comment is affixed to yours. Hey is there an edit button somewhere?

    • James

      First thing I did on hearing the news was check the Feedly blog, glad they have a plan

  • José Arcadio Buendía

    Al carajo with Google. WTF?!

  • Hael

    Unlurking briefly to say:
    I used Google Reader for a while and really liked it. A while ago I started using feedly which let me connect my google reader account but I’m not sure if that means it took over all my google reader feeds or just connected to them.

    They had this announcement today which I guess is saying I won’t notice anything.

    The only real complaint I have with feedly is there seems to be a memory leak for me with Chrome where if I leave it in an open tab and keep clicking on links to blogs like here it seems to use more and more memory and all my tabs get really slow. Then if I open Chrome’s task manager the feedly tab sometimes is using more than 1GB RAM.

    If I close the feedly tab (and tabs I opened from it that get clumped together with it in the task manager) then everything’s back to normal and I can reopen those tabs without problem. It sounds kind of serious but it’s only recently started annoying me enough to look into it and I haven’t found many other people with the same issue.

    Also for some reason I’ve always felt that by using RSS I was somewhat odd. I can’t think of anyone else I know that uses any kind of feed. I guess Twitter and Facebook fills this role for a lot of people?

  • Ronan

    What is google reader out of curiosity (wikis no real help)..does it mean every rss feed i have will stop working?

    • Google Reader is Google’s RSS reader. If they turn it off nothing happens immediately. However websites may be less inclined to make more RSS feeds to feed the Google monster.

      Plug here for NetNewsWire.

      • Ronan

        ah right, thanks..sousing firefox protects me from this? Any specific reason to use chrome in general?

        • Ronan

          should be ..so using firefox…

          • Nothing about Firefox protects you from this. Firefox is a web browser, newsreaders serve up a distilled headline-style version of website articles, letting you browse more websites faster (and usually you then go to the site once you’ve read an interesting headline).

            • Ronan

              ah right..well that’s great news

        • Vance Maverick

          Sousing protects you in general, but not from this in particular.

          • Ronan

            I’m gonna give it a go anyway. Cant do any harm

      • Ronan

        and thanks for the netnewswire link

      • Linnaeus

        Second on NetNewsWire. I can’t get too upset about the end of Google Reader; NetNewsWire is a better product than Google Reader anyway.

        • Sigga

          NetNewsWire syncs across multiple devices using google RSS, they turned off their own version of that a while ago. I haven’t gone to their site yet to see what they’re saying about this,

          • Linnaeus

            Good point. They’ve had nothing to say on this so far (just went to their website today).

    • JMP

      And here’s a slightly more confused and I guess newbie question; what’s an RSS? This discussion is a wee bit confusing.

      • “Really Simple Syndication” is essentially a chopped down web-page that serves as a lure to your site. I keep track of LGM comments by visiting this link (works in Firefox):


        The LGM posts feed is here:


        What I like about NetNewsWire (plugged somewhere here) is that every headed item can be sorted independently in one big group so that “Latest law graduate debt figures” can coexist in the same window with “Late fees at the library to include whipping”. It’s like having a couple of thousand magazine items collated by, say, date order.

  • Matt Stevens

    Huh. I switched from Firefox to Chrome partly because of Google Reader integration. If they kill Reader I may return to Firefox.

  • I actually liked the G+ sharing thing. But obviously sad to see it go. I don’t understand why they didn’t try to make a real product out of it.

    • tonycpsu

      I’d certainly pay a non-trivial amount to keep my reader account, and I’m sure a lot of other people would. Syncing of starred articles across all platforms, integration with so many different RSS readers… This is a major mistake.

  • snarkout

    Friends have recommended The Old Reader, which is currently getting smashed by traffic as everyone migrates.

    • marijane

      newsblur.com is another one that I’ve heard good things about, and is also getting crushed under the weight of people migrating.

  • It’s the second tab I open after Gmail whenever I fire up a browser… I like it a lot, but as long as I can migrate to a service that syncs between devices I don’t see it as being a big deal. How hard can it be to develop a usable RSS reader?*

    *Yes, I know, famous last words.

  • I have a feeling that someone will kill RSS completely- it circumvents too many ads, or website bloat.

    Very depressing.

    • I’m worried about it dying too, since even with ads in Reader itself, Google apparently didn’t find it profitable. I use it mainly for aggregating non-professional blogs who don’t require a click through… but even if every blog I followed required a click I’d still find it useful for aggregating blog posts from places that don’t update frequently.

    • Greg

      That hasn’t been my experience. Relatively few of the feeds I read have the entire article in the feed. Most of them just have headlines, and you click the link to go to the site. It’s great so I don’t have to check every blog I read obsessively to see if there’s new posts, I can look in my google reader feed.

  • tonycpsu

    1. Drive competing services out of business with a free service (subsidized by a profitable product).
    2. Cancel free service.
    3. ???

    (John Siracusa, via Yglesias.)

    • tonycpsu
    • Vance Maverick

      Ugh, I wish I could defend my employer on this. But I can’t. Thanks, all, for the suggestions of alternatives.

  • Lars


    I hate this decision.

    So far “The Old Reader” looks like one alternative. Any others?

    • Stacy

      As Marijane said a few posts up,
      I like newsblur.com – it has a web app and a phone app, and except for now when they are being crushed by the load is reliable.

  • wengler

    I never used it, but I can see why people are angry about it shutting down. This is your punishment for not using Google+ and shunning Google Wave.

    • NonyNony

      But I do use Google+ and I honestly tried to use Google Wave.

      Or at least I tried to figure out what the hell Google Wave was supposed to be good for. That counts, right?

      • Robert Farley

        Oh, Google Wave…. every now and then there’s been some conversation or project where I say “Google Wave woulda been useful here.” But those moments don’t come all that often.

  • I use SeaMonkey, it integrates with Firefox, and updates somewhat frequently, like this morning(which always takes about 3 minutes, tops).

  • Johnny Sack
    • nixnutz

      I am interested but all that link accomplished was to make me angry at “quorom.com” without learning anything at all about the subject.

      Was that your intent?

  • Daragh McDowell

    Literally the most frequently used App on my phone. In fact, how I keep abreast of this site. Boo.

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