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Today, Google is killing off its Google Reader RSS feed readers, which millions of people have used to read blog posts for years.
Google announced the retirement of this popular feature back in March saying:
There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.
If you use Google Reader, this is the last day you can save your feed data. You can do that using using Google Takeout.
Where Do We Go From Here?
If you are looking for another blog reader tool, some popular alternatives include:
- Digg Reader
- NetVibes (also has social media monitoring capabilities)
- FeedDemon (a desk top application)
Impending FeedBurner Stats Collapse
The end of Google Reader will also cause a dramatic drop in the number of subscribers reported by FeedBurner. FeedBurner is a service, purchased by Google in 2007, that allows publishers to manage their RSS feeds. FeedBurner provides an estimate of how many people subscribe to particular feeds managed through the service.
Since Google Reader is the most popular RSS feed reader tool, when it goes away so will many publishers subscribers. Hopefully a good percentage of them will re-subscribe using other tools, but many of those subscribers are probably inactive and won’t. Marketing Land has a good article with more info on this.
How does this impact you?
Personally, I’ve been a Google Reader for years, but as I began using Twitter to follow bloggers and been subscribing to other blogs via email, my use of Google Reader became less frequent until I just stopped using it entirely. I’m going to export my Google Reader data today, and will probably experiment with a few other feed readers, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever use a feed reader regularly again.
How about you? Are you a Google Reader user? Are you going to switch to an alternative? If not, how do you keep up with your favorite blogs?