Google Reader′s demise causes mass migration | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 19.03.2013
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Google Reader's demise causes mass migration

Ever since Google announced plans to end its RSS service, Google Reader, there's been a rush on alternatives led by the service's loyal following, most of whom, it seems, are journalists.

Exhibitors of the Google company work on laptop computers in front of an illuminated sign of the Google logo at the industrial fair Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany, in this April 17, 2007 file photo. Google Inc.'s stock reached a new high Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, reflecting Wall Street's renewed faith in the Internet search leader as it introduces new ways for advertisers to reach its steadily expanding online audience. (ddp images/AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file) eingestellt von Quast

Google Logo Laptops

Fans of Google's RSS (rich site summary) service, Google Reader, were in shock when they first learned of its demise. The US-based Internet firm plans to shut down Google Reader on July 1 and it's given users until then to migrate to alternative services, using its Takeout option.

Until now, Google Reader has allowed its users to track news updates on the sites they choose to follow - and collect all of those updates in one place. One such user, Daniel Lewis, has started a petition to save the service. But the petition has garnered just 130,000 signatures so far. Given the amount of people who use Google's other services daily, the number is low. And perhaps that's why it is shutting down - most seem to think that Google Reader is simply not popular enough.

Users syndicate news on Google Reader by subscribing to websites. To do this, they click on a little orange and white icon that looks like a symbol for radio waves or broadcasting. But the service has faced recent competition from other more media savvy web apps and services. It could be that changing technologies have transformed the way people consume media. And to be blunt, Google Reader's no-nonsense look is a little tired these days, too.

So what are the alternatives? More than 500,000 users have already migrated from Google to Feedly (above). Apart from sharing options, Feedly has a number of handy layout options. It can be used as an add-on with web browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and it also offers mobile apps for Apple's iOS (as in the image above) and Android. Feedly says it's building a new syncing engine to allow more Google Reader users to store their feeds with Feedly.

Mobile app Flipboard (above) is also expected to benefit greatly from the migration of Google Reader users to other services. Flipboard has sought to assure new and old users that their "Google Reader subscriptions will be safe on Flipboard." Though it offers many sharing options and allows users to save articles to be read later via services like Pocket and Instapaper, Flipboard has one major drawback - it's only available as a mobile app.

Pulse (above) also allows users to migrate from Google Reader. But it does not allow users to migrate all of their data from Google because it has limits on the number of sites that can be allocated to a single category – it's something that migrating users will no doubt have a problem with, despite the app's otherwise interactive look.

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