Google to kill off Reader

Claims usage has dropped and that it can't continue supporting it

Google has announced that it will be closing down its Reader service this July.

Speaking via its company blog, a spokesperson said there are two "simple" reasons that Google was closing the service: "Usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we are pouring all of our energy into fewer products".

Reader was launched in 2005 and soon became the dominant reader in use. The company has said that users interested in continuing to use RSS feeds will be able to export their settings to another service using Google Takeout.

The loss of the service will be a major blow to the RSS standard. While use of RSS has declined drastically in the years since the launch of Facebook and Twitter, it is still used heavily by some, including journalists.

It will also impact a number of RSS reader developers on Apple's App Store and Google's Play stores. Many of them use Google's Reader application as the basis of their own applications.

A number of other services do exist – including Feedly, Friendfeed, Netvibes, and RSS Owl – but it is unclear which will become the dominant standard post-Google Reader.

Users have launched a Change.org petition to try and convince Google to reverse the decision. So far 25,000 names have been added with a further 2,000 signing the petition every hour according to the website.

Google also announced that it will be killing off support for Google Voice on Blackberry. Users of the service will be directed to its HTML5 application instead.

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