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.
I don’t get it. So they count heads, and see that not as many people use Google Reader as they’d like. But the only people I know that use RSS on a daily basis are the one that counts. Bloggers, journalists and tech leaders. You know, the people that write and influence the rest of the heard. How can you not make money on the data Google gets by their reading habits? You want me to have to spend all day reading assorted ramblings on Google+ or Twitter to find some nuggets? I don’t have the time for that.If they can’t be bothered, why not open source it? I mean, they like open, just check out Android…oops, forgot, it isn’t so open any more…
Try this for size, let people pay a subscription fee. You can still anal probe your users for the data for your precious ads. Isn’t that a win-win situation?
Trust in Googles Services
I’ve already been burned before when using Google as my data handler. By shutting down services, who dares to put any trust into using Googles services? A year ago if a customer of mine asked for the best solution for a company e-mail system, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Google Apps. Now? No way. I’m already in the planning stage of moving my mail, calendar and address book from Google Apps. Because, who knows, suddenly I’m sitting there having to migrate my data to another solution. And not just for me but customers that relied on my advice of using Google Apps.
Moved to my own RSS server with Fever
So I installed Fever tonight. Hopefully my RSS readers on iOS will support it. Reeder for iPhone supports it, and with a bit of luck, so will the iPad and the Mac version as well. I just have to rely on the web interface for the time being.
Suddenly a new market opportunity opens up for others, providing the same service and actually make money. There are smaller companies that’s going to make some good money on this one. And there will be innovation again.
And now I’m just waiting for the final stab in the back. Google killing off NIK Sharpener, the best sharpening plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom. And the writing is already on the wall…