SOFTWARE HOUSE Google is shutting down its popular RSS reader, Google Reader, in a move that has sparked fury across the web.
The internet giant announced on Wednesday that it will retire the service it launched in 2005 on 1 July, due to deterioration of interest.
"We launched Google Reader in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites," Google's SVP of Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle said in a blog post. "While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined."
Google Reader users took to Twitter to complain about the news and many are dumbfounded by the firm's decision.
"Can't believe Google are killing off Google Reader - so annoying," said @walshybhoy.
"Killing off Wave was merciful; but killing off Google Reader? Oh my aching old bones, what are they thinking?" said @SimonMGarrett
Even Hitler was infuriated by the news.
A different post on the Google Reader blog by software engineer Alan Green mentioned that another reason for closing Reader is that the company is "pouring all of [its] energy" into fewer products. "We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience," he said.
The move can also be viewed as geared towards Google's decision to focus on Google+. Former Google Reader product manager Brian Shih, who left the firm in 2011, explained in a post on question and answer website Quora that the company insisted on building a social network, which resulted in engineers being coaxed away from the Reader department.
Shih explained in the post that this was because Reader team members were believed to be the only ones at Google that understood social.
Nevertheless, Google Reader fans have made their feelings clear about this, as one user indicated in a tweet:
Someone should do a poll to see which service people would prefer to see shut down: Google Reader or Google Plus.— David Auerbach (@AuerbachKeller) March 14, 2013
Another Twitter user @christophmccann, a medical student from Dundee, has even started a petition online to keep the RSS reader service, spreading the news across the microblogging website under the hashtag #keepgooglereader.
"Google Reader powers so many great apps like Flipboard and Reeder. Lets fight to keep Google Reader alive," the petition reads.
By 10am UTC today, over 12,000 people had signed the petition to keep Google Reader, while British gadget man Stephen Fry retweeted the appeal.
The most common comments from signers include reasons to keep Reader such as "it makes life easier", "I use it every day" and "this is how I get my news of what is going on in the world!"
It seems that Google is really out to annoy people today, as it has also removed all ad blocking apps from Google Play.
There are alternatives to Google Reader for those who rely on the service for all of their RSS needs. Some of the most notable alternatives include Reeder, Feedler, Fever and Netvibes to name a few. µ