Google Reader – what next?

Google has announced that as of July 1st 2013 Google Reader will be no more (A second spring of cleaning It comes as no surprise since I doubt Google receives very little revenue from it. On the other hand there must be a wealth of information on users’ reading habits and network connections, but obviously not enough. Google cites declining use as the reason.

To be honest I have never got on with Google Reader. I spend a lot of my time travelling on trains with dodgy wifi and erratic mobile broadband connections, so I download as much as possible to my desktop when I do have a connection. My favourite RSS reader at the moment is RSSOwl ( I probably don’t use all of its features to the full but it does everything I need.

It is a desktop client with no web option or apps as far as I can see so will not suit many people. My second choice would probably be FeedReader ( Originally only available as a desktop client it is now online. Number three on my list is Netvibes ( This wouldn’t really be suitable for me as it is a web based service but it does offer some very neat alternative display options and has been used by many organisations to provide ‘start pages’ for their users.

I am not going to list or review all of the possible Google Reader alternatives. There are plenty of other articles that are doing that. 12 Google Reader Alternatives  ( is one, although the list is now down to 11 as FeedDemon, which is dependent on Google Reader, has now announced it will close as well (The End of FeedDemon, If you are interested in exploring more alternatives a list is being compiled at There were 33 when I last looked.

To move your RSS feeds you now have to use the Google Takeout service ( There is no longer an option within Google Reader itself to export an OPML file. Takeout is going to be a problem for some people as it creates a zip file, which some organisations automatically block.

The demise of Google Reader is not a problem for me as I have never used it on a regular basis. What does worry me is that Feedburner ( might be next for the chop. There has been virtually no development of the service for a couple of years and in July 2012 Adsense for feeds was discontinued, an indication Google does not view it as a revenue stream. I am now actively looking for Feedburner alternatives.

3 thoughts on “Google Reader – what next?”

  1. Thanks for pulling this together Karen. I’ll be sad to see Google Reader go but, like you, probably don’t use it enough for it to be a real blow. I’m also concerned about FeedBurner’s future, though – any alternatives you can find would be of great interest.

    1. I’m going to have to start from scratch on Feedburner alternatives. The services I used before Google bought up and developed Feedburner have long gone. But I suspect I need to start sooner rather than later on this project.

  2. Thanks, Karen. Google is also shutting down iGoogle in November, something I *really* am going to miss. I have almost all of my feeds there.

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