Journalists and geeks united in exasperation on Wednesday evening when Google made a very sad announcement: The company is shuttering Google Reader. We should've seen this coming. And those that didn't see the inevitable death of Google's RSS feed organizer and reader might've easily missed the news, since Google buried it halfway down an official blog post about a bunch of other stuff. But it is true. The search giant will pronounce Reader dead on July 1, 2013. Based on the somewhat storied history of Google killing Reader features, though, we're pretty sure someone will start working on an alternative within the next few hours.
Again, this shouldn't be a surprise. Google Reader's been staring death in the face at least since the fall of 2011, when the company shut down the products social features. People were pissed. A few days later, a community of Google Reader devotees called Sharebros that used the service like a social network started their protest in earnest and actually showed up outside of Google's offices at one point. It took Google a few days to respond to the outrage, and when it explained that neutering Reader of its social features would help the company's engineers "build an even better experience across all of Google." (They also really want people to use Google+ which inherited some of Reader's old sharing capabilities.) The Sharebros took things into their own hands at that point, and one Sharebro named Francis Cleary actually started to build his own Reader replacement. Last we heard, it was still in development with Cleary as the sole developer.