Google Reader Fate Should Make You Wary of Google Services
The Internet reverberated with a loud gasp when Google announced it is pulling the plug on Google Reader, a popular RSS aggregator. Many members of the tech press howled because Google Reader is essential for many writers to efficiently gather news from a wide variety of sources efficiently.
Millions of people use Google Reader to read millions of different sources that publish RSS feeds. Every morning I read my Bible, my email and then my collection of RSS feeds via Reeder on my mac and the Google Reader app on my iPad and iPhone. I don’t want to change my routine so I’m unhappy about Google’s decision. Hopefully Reeder will step up and offer a similar service to Google Reader as they promised on Twitter.
Don’t worry, Reeder won’t die with Google Reader.
— Reeder (@reederapp) March 14, 2013
This isn’t the first time Google’s killed off a popular service. The Slate Google Graveyard is a collection of defunct Google services It shows graphically all the services Google killed and lets mourners put a flower on the grave of these services. The Graveyard includes services like iGoogle, Google Labs, Google Wave, Google Video, Google Buzz and more. Look below at the last item in the graveyard. An empty grave ready for Google Glass.
Few of the dead Google services got anything close to the same amount of press coverage the closure of Google Reader’s gotten so far. That’s likely because so many reporters, bloggers and other members of the media rely on Google Reader so heavily.
All these dead services affect the trust users put in Google. Google Reader’s destruction might serve as the final nail in the coffin of the trust some users had in Google.
Google recently released a new note-organizing and syncing service called Google Keep. We compared it to Evernote as did most who reviewed the new service. I spoke to a friend who blogs for a handful of sites.My friend read our post and said he’d check out the service but won’t use it because of what Google did to Reader. He said he can’t trust Google to support a service even when it boasts plenty of users. I agree.
Will you trust Google when it releases new services to compete with other popular services?
We’re told Google might release a smart watch that will compete with the rumored Apple watch and the Pebble watch we reviewed. Google sells Chrome OS computers. Should buyers trust that Google will keep developing Chrome OS or continue to support their watch? Already people think they might merge Chrome OS with Android, although Google said they wouldn’t. Can we trust them? I’m hesitant. If there’s already a useful tool in a given space that works as well as a new Google service or even if it’s close, I’m less likely to switch. Evernote serves me fine and I’ll stay with it over Keep, even if Google makes it slightly better than Evernote. The same goes for other new Google services.
I won’t put too many eggs in Google’s basket. Meanwhile I’m putting my flower on the Google Reader grave.