Google Reader: Service To Close In July
Google is shutting down its Google Reader service due to a declining number of users - and fans of the service have been given three months to find an alternative.
Google Reader, which was launched in 2005, is a content aggregator of web feeds, meaning users can go to just one place to view content from their favourite sites.
But the company said Google Reader would be retired on July 1 due to a dwindling number of users.
Software engineer Alan Green explained in a blog post: "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.
"To ensure a smooth transition, we're providing a three-month sunset period so you have sufficient time to find an alternative feed-reading solution.
"If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout. Thank you again for using Reader as your RSS (Rich Site Summary) platform."
Fans of the service expressed their upset at the move, with at least one dedicated website being set up asking Google to reconsider.
Bringgooglereaderback.com opens with "Dear Google" then displays an animation of Mad Men actress and Comic Con favourite Alison Brie looking at first shocked, then upset on apparently hearing the news.
The website then displays the words: "You should bring back Google Reader."
And Mashable's Christina Warren pointed out that finding a replacement for Google Reader would not be easy.
She said: "The service isn't just an RSS reader - it's also the de facto cloud-based RSS syncing service.
"Many Google Reader users don't even use the web app as their primary feed reader, instead using the service to offer subscription, read, unread and folder information to other RSS clients such as Reeder, NetNewsWire and FeedDemon."