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The closure of Google reader- Reasons and alternatives

Today we woke up to sad news for computer lovers. Google Reader, the popular RSS reader, will close on July 1. In this post we analyze the reasons for the closure, the main alternatives, and the future of Feed readers.

The first thing to clarify is that RSS feeds are not going to stop working. RSS feeds are small files that each blog or website generates and that the RSS reader (Google Reader or another) consults. The fact that a reader closes, even if it is the most important, does not mean that the system stops working.

However, the closure of Google Reader is a serious blow in two ways. First, because it is the most popular RSS reader. And secondly, because many of the alternatives synchronize the sources with Google Reader. Moreover, this is a feature that was specifically demanded by users, who could concentrate their sources in a single place and access them from any reader. This way, Google Reader was used as a “Feeds list”.

The reasons

Google justifies this action by the lack of users of Google Reader. This version is not supported by itself, as perfectly shown by the fact that the news has quickly become a trending topic, or that the web has been flooded with posts and comments from users showing their discontent with Google’s decision.

There have even been various voting initiatives against the closure of Google Reader. There is also a movement calling for the deletion of G+ accounts in protest against the closure of Google Reader. It is not foreseeable that any of these initiatives will modify Google’s decision.

But then, if it is such a popular service, why is Google closing this popular service? Well, in summary, for two reasons:

  • G+ social network, after multiple failed initiatives by Google to have its own competition to Facebook, finally has its own social network. Although currently it does not have a lot of activity, G+ has long been Google’s future focus. Google has always believed that Reader is taking users away from G+. Progressively, it has been removing Reader features (such as sharing with other networks, or sharing RSS between users) in favor of G+, until it has finally reached its definitive closure.
  • Metrics. Google lives, among other things, by making statistics of internet usage. Visits to a website, clicks, duration of the visit, etc. RSS feeds have been a problem for Google for a long time, because they make it difficult for Google to collect data. This is because, using RSS, users are actually reading a page without visiting it, so the visit is not counted. To solve this, Google created Feedburner some time ago, a service for RSS usage statistics, which has also been neglected in the last year.


The internet has been filled with recent comparisons of alternative services to Google Reader. Flipboard, Pulse, Yandex, Newsblur, Netvibes, there are plenty of them. I don’t see the point in giving a huge list of alternatives for you to try because if someone reads a technology blog, it is precisely to have the information filtered a bit. So I will give you my recommendations for RSS readers:



Without a doubt, it is my favorite news reader. On mobile devices and tablets, the appearance is simply spectacular. One of the most important features is that it does not synchronize the articles, like other mobile readers, but downloads them as you read. For the computer, it has an attractive design, although the useful reading area is somewhat reduced due to both sidebars. If you want an experience as similar as possible to Greader, select “Full Articles” in the settings.

Feedly incorporates source synchronization with Google Reader, so the migration is very simple. In addition, after the announcement of Reader’s closure, Feedly has announced its Normandy project to definitively become independent from Google’s servers. In short, a perfect alternative that will make you forget Greader soon.

The old reader


If you are more classic and are looking for a similar aesthetic to that of Google Reader on your PC, you have The Old Reader available. This reader emerged as an alternative to Google Reader when they started making changes to the interface that were not liked by many users.

The main drawbacks are that, for now, The old reader does not have buttons to share directly on social networks, and it does not have an application for mobile devices. It is foreseeable that in the coming months they will address these deficiencies.


A bold move by Google. A show of strength to boost its G+ network, without thinking or caring about the users. On the other hand, the announced death of a product that has long ceased to be Google’s favorite, and from which we have seen how, gradually, all the features were gradually removed, starting with Feedburner. Although there was always hope that Google would not dare to close it definitively.

An action that is difficult to make work, since the many users who use RSS will look for an alternative reader to continue reading them, because it is more convenient for us to read them through an RSS reader than through a social network. I recommend that you try Feedly, which is excellent especially on mobile devices. If you don’t like it, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from, and it is foreseeable that a much larger number will appear in the coming months.

Therefore, download the Google Reader files with your data as soon as possible, so that you can move to another reader in the future, as it is foreseeable that all of them will incorporate the option to import data from these files.

And what do you think of Google’s announcement? Do you think it’s a successful strategy? Do you plan to use another RSS reader? Do you know of any important alternative? If you want to share your opinion, leave us a comment.