Google Reader user? Say goodbye. Google has announced the service is closing on July 1.
The news came today in a “Spring Cleaning” blog post from Google, where the company said:
We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.
Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.
On the Google Reader blog, Google said similar words, with a more personal “we’re sad too” addition:
We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.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.
Google Reader also has a new help area about the closure.
Overall, I was pretty amazed to read this. While much news reading behavior has moved to social networks these days, I know plenty of dedicated Google Reader users. It was also pretty much the last of the major news reading services standing.