In Google’s official announcement of the end of Reader, which it plans to mothball in July, it said the product had a “devoted following who will be very sad to see it go.” But usage had declined, and the company says it wants to focus more energy on fewer products. Reader’s popularity came not just from its innovative tools but from its social aspect, Wired’s Mat Honan points out. “Reader gave users the ability to friend, follow and share stories with others. It let readers share stories with each other, and comment on them too.” But the company removed that function in 2011, replacing it with an option to share on G+. “That was effectively the end of the Reader community.” Now Reader itself follows. But boy was Google right about that devoted following.
On Twitter (which, let’s be honest, has done its share to make Reader obsolete), journalists, bloggers, and news junkies mourned Reader’s demise with varying degrees of seriousness.
And of course, someone has already started a White House petition to bring it back.
But let’s be realistic: Google didn’t see Reader as a product worth maintaining, and the company’s almost certainly not going to bring it back just because we miss it. So once you’ve come to terms with the service’s loss, it’s time to figure out how to move on. To that end, expect every tech blog in existence to offer a list of their favorite alternatives. For starters, check out Lifehacker and CNET.