Urs Hölzle, Google:
We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.
I hate to say that I told you so, but I did regarding RSS apps which use the (unofficial, undocumented) Google Reader API:
I don’t like the lingering prospect that one of my applications might break on Google’s whim.
Dave Winer would like you to know that it’s a terrible idea to rely on free solutions from a company that keeps software perpetually in “beta” status.
Intriguingly, a tweet from Reeder claims that the app won’t perish with Google’s service. Perhaps they’re building their own RSS syncing backend between their own apps, which is good: they aren’t dependent on the whims of another company.
Marco Arment thinks that this will spur some competition amongst RSS apps:
It may suck in the interim before great alternatives mature and become widely supported, but in the long run, trust me: this is excellent news.
I think he’s right. But that’s in the future — if you’re looking for something to fill the void now, you could try Acrylic Apps’ excellent Pulp,1 or Shaun Inman’s self-hosted Fever. But if you’re a casual news feed person, what’s wrong with Twitter?
As an aside, Google’s spring cleaning notices are shocking in terms of their scope. I wasn’t aware Google offered half of the products on this list. Now, obviously, they don’t, but it’s amazing to think of just how many pies Google has fingers in.