Though one of the most popular RSS reader services, Google has made the decision to discontinue Google Reader. Many users are devastated, going so far as to start a petition to save the service, though it’s not likely Google will back out of its choice. However, Digg, the widely used bookmarking service, is quite happy about Google Reader saying goodbye. With a replacement on the way, perhaps the future isn’t so dim for Google Reader fans.
* Google made the announcement on Wednesday that Google Reader would officially be retired on July 1. The date was chosen in order to give users time to find a suitable replacement. Users can use the Google Takeout service to backup their subscriptions to make transferring to a new reader easier.
* Google made the difficult decision due to two main reasons. First, overall usage of the reader has declined. Second, Google wants to invest more time and energy into fewer projects and products to give users the best experiences possible.
* Since 2011, Google has gotten rid of approximately 70 of its products. On Wednesday alone, 40 products met their doom, including Google Cloud Connect and the Google Voice app for Blackberry.
* Google Reader was first released in 2005. During its almost-nine-year run, Google never once placed ads in the service, which may be part of the reason for the service being let go.
* Reader rival Flipboard has already announced it will support direct imports of existing Google Reader data, making it a tempting alternative.
* Upon the heels of Google’s announcement, Digg announced its own RSS reader project. The company is eagerly seeking the input from current Reader users and hopes to emulate the best Reader has to offer while improving upon the service.
* Digg first began work on an RSS reader in 2010, but the project has a renewed vigor since Reader is shutting down. Ideally, Digg plans to have the service ready around the time Reader shuts down.
* While there are many other replacements already on the market, those familiar with Google Reader’s API may find Digg’s upcoming service their best option. Digg plans to replicate the existing API, simply tweaking it to give users a better experience.
RSS readers are mainly for those who keep up with numerous news sites and blogs. Casual Internet users simply prefer bookmarks, bookmarking sites or social networks to stay in the loop. However, as the recent outcry over the demise of Google Reader has shown, RSS is still alive and kicking.