Considered as one of the best information hubs and content aggregator platforms ever created, Google Reader is now set to take its final bow and bid farewell to its loyal users. Early this month, Internet giant Google announced that it will shut down the once widely popular news platform permanently come July of this year. The announcement sent ripples of shock and disappointment across the World Wide Web, and social networking sites basically blew up with violent reactions from users who have come to love the highly useful content aggregator.
Plagued by privacy and compliance issues
Google Reader is just one of the many platforms the Internet giant is planning to axe as part of its “spring cleaning” process, a strategy that Google CEO Larry Page has implemented in order to eliminate less popular services and regain focus on major ones. While Google put the blame on the declining number of users as the primary reason for shutting down Reader, some reports claim that the real culprits behind the RSS platform’s sudden demise are compliance and privacy issues. Such concerns, particularly privacy, have continuously plagued the search-engine leader over the recent months.
Rather than come up with specific measures to protect its users and tighten the platform’s security, Google decided to take the easier route and kill the service instead in order to avoid dealing with the growing number of complaints. Though obviously the biggest spider on the World Wide Web, Google still doesn’t want to take the risk and invest in a team that would handle the compliance issues. Continuing the service meant adding more infrastructures and increasing the number of staff to address the concerns, and Google is just not willing to shell out resources in order to keep the Reader alive. Perhaps the only solution in Larry Page’s eyes is to kill the source of the problem; hence, avoiding privacy complaints while shifting focus on other money-making platforms. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.
The effect of the impending Google Reader shutdown on users
In an attempt to save the once-popular RSS platform from total annihilation and convince Google to retract its decision, avid users passed several petitions, with one of them garnering over 150,000 signatures. However, Google has been adamant in its decision to shutter Reader, and it even gave an exact date of the shutdown in order to provide users with enough time to manage their accounts and save important data.
Perhaps the root of all the violent reactions is that no other RSS platform can compare to Google Reader, so finding an alternative poses a problem for users. Despite its dwindling popularity, Google Reader is still the standard when it comes to aggregating news and content. From business owners running small virtual offices and CEOs managing large corporations to ordinary people maintaining blogs, Google Reader has definitely created a significant impact in the daily lives of its users. Fortunately, the impending shutdown is still a few months away, so there’s still plenty of time to search for an alternative. Who knows, maybe Google may surprise everyone yet again and come up with an improved, privacy-compliant version of the Reader come July. It’s a highly ambitious and farfetched idea, but anything’s possible with Google.
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