Google Reader is no more.

The RSS reader first launched in 2005 and was a popular tool amongst millions of users, but it has now joined the sizeable graveyard of Google products including Google Buzz and Google Labs – where Google Reader was first born as an idea – deemed surplus to requirement.

Discussing the rationale behind ending the Google Reader service, Google software engineer, Alan Green, put on the Google Reader blog at the time: “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.”

Really Simple Syndication, or RSS readers are a quick and easy way for users to see when content has been updated in a nice bitesize chunk rather than having to visit a page individually. For digital marketing professionals and those in a range of other industries, they act as a useful way to keep up-to-date on industry news.

A range of alternative options can be found online however, with Feedly particularly popular. Digg also used the news of Google Reader’s demise as a prompt to add an RSS feed in both its mobile and web apps.

Facebook is also rumoured to be developing a news reader – but has been quick to deny it is a Google Reader replacement.

A number of people have criticised Google’s decision to ditch its Reader service, including PC Magazine who called it: “A grave mistake by Google and it sends the wrong message.”

The US magazine Slate has a virtual graveyard of Google products for people to drop a flower and leave their cyber-condolences, with 110,668 people having laid down a flower at the time of writing.

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About the author:

Martin Boonham is an online copywriter for ClickThrough Marketing, he has worked there since October 2012. He has a Masters in Print Journalism from Nottingham Trent University, where he also gained his NCTJ qualification at the same time; achieving qualifications in subbing, shorthand and media law.