Google Pulling the Reader Plug; Service Ends on July 1

March 14, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Google Reader, which was a big help to those who subscribed to news feeds of their favorite sites, is getting the knife from Google. The search giant announced that they will be stopping their Google Reader services, with effect from July 1, 2013.

The web-based program was not just a mere tool with which users found their favorite feeds. Reader was a beloved service that users enlisted to make their work easier.

Back in the summer of 2004, Jason Shellen, who became a Google employee with the acquisition of Blogger by the Search giant, was busy with Google’s Ato specification. He pitched an idea to Blogger engineer, Chris Wetherell, asking him whether an in-browser XML-parser would be suitable to take care of feeds.


This idea later grew to become the Reader. Although Shellen liked the application, Google wasn’t impressed enough to give him the green signal for launch.

He approached Marissa Mayer, who headed Google’s consumer web services, and he got the approval needed to launch the service provided that the services would not be having its social features. Reader, then, debuted officially as a Google Labs product in 2005.

It brought with it features like the ability to detect the items read by a user on a per-item basis. Then, by the year 2007, it grew out of Labs to emerge as an individual product, with the social features slowly merging in.

Users are able to friend, follow and share stories using Reader, and are also able to comment on shared stories. Thus, Reader became a place where stories could not only be shared, but also discussed among friends.

But, with the advent of Google+ in 2011, the sharing ability was replaced with that of Google+ sharing, and this brought an end to the Reader’s sharing community. And now, the service is getting a wholesome slash from the company.

Google says that even though Reader has served them loyally through the years, the use of Reader among users has dwindled and so they don’t see any point in continuing it. Moreover, the company hasn’t rolled out many updates over the past few months, and it was basically ignored.

According to Shellen, pulling the plug on Reader is better than letting it dwindle down to nothing. I am not sure whether Reader’s users would agree to that.

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