Google Reader, one of the world's most popular RSS readers, is shutting down on July 1, 2013, Google announced Wednesday.Seeing as how this app has been pretty much on autopilot for a while, it's not like it was sucking up much in the way of resources.
The search giant is pulling the plug on the 7-year old project citing "declining usage." Google says it is shuttering Reader and deprecating or shutting down a number of other services as part of the company's "spring cleaning" initiative — one that seeks to help the company focus on the features that need the most use.
My guess is that Google™ saw it as an alternative to Google+™, they dumped some sharing features from the program a year ago, and this was a large part of the reason to axe the program.
They are terrified of Facebook, and so they push G+.
As an aside, one of the problems with Google+™ is that G+ still sucks.
For example, there is still no way to feed your blog RSS to G+, which you can do in Facebook, Twitter, and even lowly MySpace. (If someone knows a work around, tell me)
And to go further down the "We Love Evil" path, Google has now banned ad blocking software from its Android Market, the Play Store:
Google has removed all ad blocking apps from Google Play, its online store for Android applications, on the basis that they interfere with other services. Searches for "adblock" and related terms on Wednesday evening no longer returned any references to ad blocking software.Evil. It's what's dinner.
Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus, condemned the decision, calling it a threat to consumer choice. "By unilaterally removing these apps, Google is stepping all over the checks and balances that make the Internet democratic," he said in a statement, suggesting that Google's actions threaten Internet freedom in the same way that SOPA and PIPA did.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In its letter to Adblock Plus, Google said the software violates Section 4.4 of the company's Developer Distribution Agreement.
Section 4.4 states, "You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator."
On a related note, my guess is that Feedburner will be done away with in the near to medium term, so if you have an email subscription, you would need to change.
I'm looking at alternatives.