It's Lights Out for Google Reader RSS Service

By An Phung
|  Thursday, Mar 14, 2013  |  Updated 8:13 AM PDT
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It's Lights Out for Google Reader RSS Service

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Google has shut down 70 features and services since its "spring cleaning" started in 2011.

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RIP Google Reader.

Google announced on Wednesday that it is shutting down its RSS service Google Reader on July 1.

The reader, which has a loyal fan base but waning popularity, was developed in 2005 as a way for people to easily curate and discover online content. But Google said it needs to free up resources for a "new kind of computing environment."

"To make the most of these opportunities, we need to focus—otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact," the tech giant said in a blog post.

The news comes on the heels of another announcement on Wednesday that Andy Rubin, the mastermind behind the Android phone operating system, will be stepping down as head of Google's digital content as the search engine giant combines mobile and desktop divisions.

The demise of Google reader touched a nerve. Fans have started an online petition on keepgooglereader.com, which as of Thursday morning, boasted over 18,000 people who begged to keep the service alive.

"Google Reader is my sole source of news and blogs. Please don't shut it down," wrote James Kwang Huang on the petition.

Another website, bringgooglereaderback.com, took a more humorous approach with an animated GIF of actress Alison Brie addressed to Google that pleaded with the company to "bring back Google Reader."

Google Reader is the latest product to land in Google's graveyard. The firm has shuttered a total of 70 features and services since their "spring cleaning" effort started in 2011. Other recent closures include Google Desktop and Google Maps API for Flash. Remember Google Buzz and Wave?

The latest round of closures also includes Google Cloud Connect, a plug-in that helps people save files from Windows PCs in Google Drive. It was ousted by a more streamlined version of Google Drive and Connect will go away on April 30.

Three-dimensional building tool Google Building Maker will retire on June 1 and Google will end its support for a voice app for Blackberry users.

For those who aren't relying on the online effort to spare Google Reader, there are a host of possible reader replacements.

USA Today provided a round-up of four alternatives that includes slick mobile phone apps like Feedly, Pulse, Flipboard and Twitter.

NewsBlur and The Old Reader are apps that have the ability to import Google Reader's feeds, according to Mashable.

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