Google Reader’s death is one of the saddest news Google fans have learnt this year. Google didn’t give us a very detailed explanation about the reasoning behind this decision, other than “usage has declined”. This makes no sense – Feedly got over half a million subscribers only one day after news broke and that is no sign of low usage.
We were sure Google had something in mind and now we are starting to learn more details. Though the Search Giant still believes Reader was simply lacking in the stat numbers, there is another main reason why they decided to shut down its RSS client. Google believes we (users) have simply changed the way we read news, which is completely different from when Reader was launched.
“As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process.”
-Richard Gringras, Google Senior Director / News & Social Products
They believe the RSS model is “old” and Google is ready to offer us a much more active approach to reading news. This means Google is contemplating an integration of news to other services, whether they be existing or completely new. So what would an “active” approach at news consumption be?
Google stresses that we should get news at the right time. This probably means that a news reading system could be integrated to Google Now or maybe even Google+. Imagine pulling down your notification bar and finding a new review from Chromespot.com instead of traffic details? Google wants to find more pervasive (or intrusive) ways of feeding you news, which would be given to you based on interests.
Sounds neat for active, casual readers. Those of us who spend a lot of time reading news will miss Google Reader, though. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Google will be changing its mind. Have you found your Google Reader replacement yet?