As most people know by now, Google is ending Google Reader at the end of June due to lack of users. I’m curious how they came to that conclusion given the overwhelming response to the news. From a business standpoint I can pretty much get why this is happening, but really, it just seems like a terrible idea.
At its core, Reader is a free service that takes a decent amount of power to support. Think about it: you have to have a boatload of servers constantly hitting feeds and retrieving posts. Then you have to store those posts and have them be accessible across the board. It’s not a light undertaking, and it’s hard to justify putting that much power behind something that doesn’t really help Google further their products. They attempted to solve this a few years back by building in the ability to post stuff to Google+, but even that was sort of half-baked.
Now having said that, it’s a huge blow to so many people to have this service gone. It seems like the best alternatives right now are The Old Reader, Newsblur, Feedly, and Tiny Tiny RSS. I’d probably write more about these, but right now all the services are getting hammered by people trying them out in the face of this news. I’d have absolutely no problem paying for a service, especially since I use it every single day.
It’s a real shame. I’d say Google is shooting themselves in the foot on this, but I’m pretty sure their services will continue on.