Search giant Google announced on Wednesday, March 13, that it was looking to shut down its Google Reader, a one-stop destination for people to keep tabs on their favourite websites.
The announcement was met with much outrage on Twitter and Facebook, with several users taking to social-networking websites to make their displeasure known and to demand that the service be retained.
“While the product has a loyal following, over the years, usage has declined,” wrote Google in an official blog post, adding, “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.”
Launched in 2005 by Google Labs, the Reader grew in popularity as it allowed users to subscribe to feeds using either its search function, or by entering the exact URL of the RSS or Atom feed.
However, over the years, the number of people using the feed seemed to be on the decline. And now, Google is well on its way to help users move their data from Reader to Takeout.
On Takeout’s homepage, under the ‘Escaping From Google Reader’ subhead, subscribers are asked to “use Google Takeout to get a copy of all of your Reader data”.
However, that hasn’t stopped ardent Reader supporters from making their outrage over its discontinuation known. @neaato tweeted: “Two weeks of no pope: baby cured of HIV, breath test for cancer, salt water found on moon of Jupiter. Day one with pope: Google Reader dies (sic).”
On the other hand, @ExchServPro says, “Google Reader. You can (a) protest loudly, or (b) start moving your critical needs away from Google's services.
I'm going with (b) I think (sic).”Fans hit out, start online petition Reader fans aren’t in a mood to take the change lying down.
A petition started by @christophmccann asks people to join the campaign to “keep Google Reader”.
The campaign’s homepage, keepgooglereader.com, says, “Google Reader powered so many great apps like Flipboard and Reeder.
Let’s fight to keep Google Reader alive.” At the time of going to press, the campaign had received over 7,400 signatures. Comments ranged from “no Reader, no life” to “stable service, good user experience, can G+ do anything?”