Google Reader

As part of an annual "Spring Cleaning" post, Google casually has said that it is killing the Google Reader service effective July 1, 2013. Among the other Spring Cleaning casualties are some CalDAV API support cases, Google Building Maker, Google Cloud Connect and the Google Voice Blackberry app. The less-used services are pretty understandable cuts, but we're left a bit surprised by the quick cutoff of the Reader platform. Google's post had this much to say about it:

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.

Google Reader has become a platform for RSS aggregation for numerous apps and end-users alike and is a great option for reading lots of news feeds or keeping up on shows and podcasts. It's a big cut, and it will be interesting to see what (if anything) takes its place as a Google-operated RSS service. Apps like Google Currents can handle some of the news reading aspects, but power users know the best way to get some things done is with good ol' RSS.

Source: Official Google Blog


Reader comments

Google is killing Google Reader on July 1, 2013


Nearly every day for six years now, each time I've opened a browser I've always gone to iGoogle to check my Google Reader feed.

At the very least I could do with finding an alternative go Google Reader that syncs across web and mobile apps. I've found feedly but I'm not sure if it has it's own sync, of if it only works through Reader.

Same here, google reader is one of my most visited sites next to iGoogle. I also use Feedly on my android devices as a frontend to google reader, so I don't know what to do now. This is very disappointing.

By the way, wasn't iGoogle supposed to disappear last fall? Or is that this fall?

Update: Just read the feedly blog link mentioned in these comments, and it looks like Feedly will seamlessly transition from google reader. That's good. Its also available for chrome.

Wow, this is ridiculous. Google Reader has been an invaluable resource for keeping up with a myriad of sites for years for me. This is really upsetting and surprising, and I am disappointed and outraged at this decision. Wow.

The question is how was Google making money off Reader? Don't think there were any ads (dunno, ad block is always on for me). Learning what content users were reading and displaying ads elsewhere? Maybe the ads publishers posted in RSS feeds wasn't a big revenue generator?

Even though we are ticked off, all of Google's products eventually have to drive ad revenue somewhere or it will be killed eventually.

Pairing "all of Google's products eventually have to drive ad revenue somewhere or it will be killed eventually" and "ad block is always on for me" kind of points down the road, doesn't it?

Either you want ad supported sites, or you want paywall sites for the future of the internet. You've voted for paywall sites.

Feedly looks like the best candidate but it suffers from the same disease a lot of RSS readers have. Too many pics and wasted space and a horrible widget and no way to check all the latest headlines with one button press.

That stinks. I have used google reader many times a day for years now. It's my primary source for compiled news. Sad to see it go.

This saddens me. I don't bookmark pages anymore, I just get the feed and dump it into Google reader.This is pretty much my default for reading almost everything.

I guess the next question should be what are the available substitutes?

With the Andy Rubin announcement earlier today, and now this laundry list of Google apps that are being shelved, what's next? Selling out to Apple?

In case you didn't know, Rubin isn't leaving Google; only moving on to a different department of Google. And a "laundry list of Google apps"? This is the only important removal that I see. You're probably just a Google hater.

You may be overlooking iGoogle, which in conjunction with Google Reader, I use and love. My guess is that they are planning to incorporate more of this newsfeed type stuff into Google Now, which may not be ideal for me.

Damn you Google!

Don't bet on currents handling the load either, because it has more overhead and no monetization path.

Recommendations please!?

Plus it doesn't have a nice widget with a counter telling you if there's something unread in a certain subscription. This is the only thing I used Reader for but it's invaluable.

Really bad news. Google Reader has been great for keeping updated with what I choose yo read. Finding new sources, stats and sync.

Any alternatives. :(

Nah, The Old Reader focuses too much on the Social crapware, and they don't even have an app.

It tries to be the same only hopelessly different.

I could give Rats Ass what is trending, or what my "friends" are reading. I follow organizations and news feeds that I like and which interest me, I don't need someone else to validate my interests. Anything that speaks about a linkage to Facebook gets a huge black mark in my book.

So, no. Just no.

Don't bet on Google Voice being safe.
Google is losing money hand over fist on voice, and it has served it's purpose of teaching Google voice recognition. (This was one of the stated purposes of GV way back).

Every year Google makes a point of announcing that GV will have free calling for another year. But clearly they have monetization in mind, and want you to be crystal clear about that.

Agreed. Google Voice is another great service. I'm sincerely worried by this news. I feel like I've entrusted Google with my life. I use Chrome, Calendar, Voice, Gmail, Picasa, Reader, and Talk all on a daily basis, and as an Android user, of course it all syncs up seamlessly with my phone, and tablet. Google owns me! Having services getting axed, leaves users in a very vulnerable state. Google's best selling point, is automatic syncing with your account. One stop shopping, where all services are compatible and linked, with one login. I don't want to use another company's services, and have 20 different logins. While convenient, I wouldn't feel comfortable with a whole slew of 3rd party services allowing me to sign into their service, with my Google ID. I trusted Google, and almost feel betrayed by their decision to end services.

I have to agree. If Google voice goes I'm done. I've switched carriers three times and not once did I have to worry about porting numbers or losing text messages. Google really needs to do more with voice, its probably my most important app/service.

They can't do away with Google Voice. There are many people who pay for that service, I paid $20 to port my number over to Google Voice, I use it errydai

Yikes! That would be horrible. I use it for long distance calls through the Obi 100. I'd be willing to pre-pay for long-distance calls in order to keep it actually, as long as it was cheaper than service through my local telco.

What the hell?!! I am completely distraught by this news!!! Google Reader, was the very first Google service I subscribed to, after Gmail. I can't imagine a day going by, without having access to that precious service. I don't even know how to function without it! I've never used any other reader, because Google's was so simple to use, and had everything I wanted, all in one feed, plus the ability to filter my feeds into categories.

I honestly have NO idea what is out there, for comparable feeds. I use FlipBoard on my GNexus but Google Reader is one of my flips? Will those feeds cease to appear on my FlipBoard come July?

Can anyone give me any pointers on a comparable reader, or app, and what does the article mean by exporting with Google Takeout? How do I do that?I feel so lost :0(

What the fuck. Google makes their products worse every day. What's next, killing Android completely? I seriously want to throw my phone at the wall.

First and certainly foremost, Google is a services company, generating money from ads and exposure. Google makes more money from iOS than Android, so it should come as no surprise to see another Google product on iOS. It's absolutely silly to think that Google would kill off it's bread and butter.

I think you are conflating money from advertising on IOS with direct payments for the Android Os paid by manufacturers.

Google makes far more on advertising on Android devices because they control a lot more of the infrastructure on Android devices than on IOS, and share non of that revenue with Apple.

I use Reader on every device I own for hours every day. On Android, gReader is one of my favorite apps. I need a syncing web-Android-iPad solution fast. (And I want one with a clean interface, not something like Flipboard. With 600 feeds -- and a few thousand articles every day -- a magazine approach doesn't work.)

I really really really hope that they have plans to at least open source it so that it could get picked up by someone else?? I would be happy to pay a few bucks a month for the service!

Hell, I would have a shot at setting it up just for myself!

Not having Google Reader would totally change the way I use the Internet :(

Does this mean all my RSS feeds that I put into Google RSS need to be moved to somewhere else or will third party apps still be able to pull feeds? Or will these also stop working?


What the fuck, Google? As if an intimate awareness of which stories I skip, which I hover over, and which I click through on isn't a goddamned gold mine of ad-targeting data. You don't even do this through Chrome. How much of your manpower is Reader really eating up? Is it worth disenfranchising a vocal minority of tech-savvy influencers just to get a few more hands working on what, Google Glass? Android? Are you really that hard-pressed for resources? All of the other shut-downs make sense but this one. 

Whatever. Your competitors will cook up a Reader clone in a heartbeat to scoop up your estranged users. 

I use Google Reader all day long, it's the most valuable service I use. I really hope we can somehow change their minds.

Seems to me that no one wants this to go away, I use it all day long too. Maybe we should start a white house petition to show google that we are serious.

There are a million choices but no other that I know of that lets me sync reading state between my phone and desktop. I'd prefer a web based solution for the "desktop". Hopefully someone can suggest a solution or one of the existing phone apps will quickly develop a companion web site...

I agree, it's the first page that I open on my computer in my browser every single day. That's how I found out about this boneheaded move when I got home from work. I wonder if Apple can sue them for cloning Apple's arrogance.

It took Feedly less than an hour to come out with the following announcement.

"Google announced today that they will be shutting down Google Reader. This is something we have been expecting for some time: We have been working on a project called Normandy which is a feedly clone of the Google Reader API – running on Google App Engine. 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.

If you are a Google Reader, give feedly a try before July 1st, and you will be able to migrate."

Yay, Feedly!

Yes! Hopefully many of the other apps do the same. We wouldn't want it to be just a couple and then we will lose quality and have to pay for lack of alternatives. This is good news though. I'm about to download feedly now and see if I like it better than Greader.

Using feedly is like switching from Google navigation to apple maps. It's a replacement but its a huge step down.

Read carefully "We have been working on a project called Normandy which is a feedly clone of the Google Reader API – running on Google App Engine..."

They will run new engine, more GR user friendly after 1st july.

Tried Feedly this morning. It's OK, but a little too clever, in my estimation.

What appealed to me about GReader was the content, not the app, was the focus. If Normandy let's us strip Feedly down to a simple and clean list, and saves all the "stared" articles and subscriptions, I'm fine with it. The shiny kid-stuff is OK as long as it can be hidden.

This is just my opinion, but integration with social apps I do not use is OK too, as long as they doesn't get in the way. I would try Twitter and LinkedIn (if LinkedIn is an option) but would want to be able to turn them off.

It has been mentioned several times, this is a risk we take with cloud based apps.

This sucks. I use Greader all day everyday and other apps on my ios devices to catch up on my feeds. I know on pulse you add rss feeds and not sync with Google Reader. So guess we will all need to use an app like that. Of course that mean another account with another company.

(Darth Vader)

I use this religiously every single day and it helps me get caught up with my digital life when I am disconnected from the internet.. Granted I know that there are other options this was the only thing I've ever used as my rss reader.

This REALLY sucks. The Android Reader app is a staple for me and the widget is super nice, one of those things that separates iOS and Android. I poured one out for Listen and moved on, but this is cutting muscle not trimming fat.

WTF? Is this some kind of joke? I won't be able to function without Google Reader. It works seamlessly between my phone, desktop, and even my PlayBook. WTF?

The problem with Feedly is that it is built for illiterate people who have to look at pictures.

I tried it for a few weeks and begged them for a way to shut off images. They couldn't understand why.
I eventually deleted it.
Does no one read any more?

For those of you looking for alternatives, LifeHacker has posted an article ( with some good choices. Unfortunately all the online services are now overloaded with Google Reader refugees so you may have to wait to shop around. It looks like there are some decent alternatives.

Still makes no sense....there just could not be that much needed to keep Google Reader running. Hopefully Google I/O will glean some new alternative.

Phew. I never picked up on Google Reader even though it was always heavily recommended to me. If I had started using it I'd probably be pretty pissed right now.

Come on Google. Change your mind. A service like that isn't about growth - it's about keeping the hardcore users happy. You've just turned your back on people who are likely to be your biggest supporters.

Sometimes analytics don't matter. You just need to give your users what they want. And this is the opposite of that. 


I use Google Reader multiple times a day. What are my options for a replacement?

Any suggestions???

This really sucks

I checked out NewsBlur which imports your Reader lists, but it's a paid service. You only get 12 free feeds.

Google, just incorporate Reader into Google Now. You are going to launch of in Chrome soon, this would be the perfect tool to get people using Google now All The Time.

Couldn't believe the popup when I went to launch Reader this morning and check my favorite Android blogs. This is where I probably spend the majority of my internet time. I also love that I'm already logged into Google so I just have to click a link across the top to jump to one of Googles other services.

To me this points up a big problem with most cloud programs, storage, etc. There is no guarantee they will be there tomorrow. What if you have all your money/music/movies/books in Google Play and they decide to kill the service. With a physical device I still have it barring physical damage but with cloud services I just own a right to use it on their cloud for as long as they decide to keep offering it. I know it's not exactly the same as Google Reader but still.

I don't even care about google reader on the web nor the app. I care about the sync features it allows good rss readers to make use of.

This is the first time Google has really pi...ff ... got me mad at them. Reader is, with the exception of the stupid limitation on emailing articles, the cleanest all around news reader I've seen. I move across several devices all day long, and Reader stays up-to-date regardless of which PC. laptop, phone, tablet, etc. I check it on. Rather than a drop in usage it looks more like a failure to market the app. Big disappointment.

I tried Feedly as an alternative this morning. It's pretty, integrates with a bunch of social apps I do not use, but, even stripped down as much as I could figure out it still runs into clumsiness. Having to think about the interface instead of the content is a fail in my mind.

Would like to see more alternatives to Reader and hear what I should do with the gobs of "stared" items I've collect before the cloud dries up someday in the future. Evidently iGoogle is still scheduled to go away too.

Wow.. I use the reader quite a bit and what sealed the deal on the demise of reader.. it is no longer in the google play store. SMH

This is a huge disapointment to understate the loss of this. I have looked into at least a dozen RSS readers since I first got an android device almost 3 years ago. None of them were candidates to replace google reader. the key issues were functionality problems or missing key features like sort, hide read, and mark unread. AC please do some comprehensive reviews on quality alternatives to google reader who don't suffer from thos problems for those of us who now need to know what our options are to replace it.

Weird, if you only look at the amount of installs of gReader, Press and Feedly on android it adds up to 2 million + That is a lot of users, and only on Android. That's kinda sad, but I guess someone else will indeed take over.