As many of you will have read today, Google has made the decision to close its much loved Google Reader in July.
This is sad news for thousands, as you can see on Twitter today, where people have been tweeting their dismay at its imminent demise.
Here's what Google said on its blog today: “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. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.”
In an effort to get Google to change its mind, supporters have started a petition on Change.org. I, for one, am definitely signing up. I find Google Reader very useful and like many others turn to it daily. Here's what the petition says:
A few years ago — years, wow — Google Reader was one of my go-to social networks. It was an accidental one. I was using it for its intended purpose — aggregating and reading a lot of web content in one place — but it turns out, a lot of other people were doing the same thing. A lot. Many of which shared interests and when you added the amazing (amazing!) share and comment features, Google Reader blossomed into a wonderful experience for many of us, core to our day-to-day consumption of content online.
Unfortunately, you decided to kill those “extra” functions. I'm not here to ask you to reverse that (you should, though). In doing so, Google Reader's day-to-day value declined, and I, like many, ended up using it less often. Instead of hitting the bookmarklet I have on my Chrome install three, four times a day, it's now a once a day (okay, once every other day more often, recently) experience.
But it's still a core part of my Internet use. And of the many, many others who are signed below.
Our confidence in Google's other products — Gmail, YouTube, and yes, even Plus — requires that we trust you in respecting how and why we use your other products. This isn't just about our data in Reader. This is about us using your product because we love it, because it makes our lives better, and because we trust you not to nuke it.
So, please don't destroy that trust. You're a huge corporation, with a market cap which rivals the GDP of nations. You're able to dedicate 20% of your time to products that may never see the light of day. You experiment in self-driving cars and really cool eyewear that we trust (trust!) you'll use in a manner respectful to our needs, interests, etc.
Show us you care.
Don't kill Google Reader.
This blog post originally appeared on the site of The Wall, PRWeek's sister outlet under Haymarket Media.