As part of its annual spring cleaning, Google on Wednesday announced it will shut down its popular Google Reader feature on July 1.
The news was a surprise for many of the feature’s loyal users, but Google said a decline in usage led to the decision. Google Reader is an RSS platform that can be used to aggregate feeds from multiple news sites and blogs into one single stream.
“We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go,” said Alan Green, a Google software engineer, in a post on the Google Reader blog. “We’re sad too.”
Before Reader shuts down, Google said users will be able to transfer their RSS subscriptions to alternative services using Google Takeout.
But despite a number of alternatives, such as Feedly or Flipboard, many users were upset by the news and took to creating a petition to stop Google from killing Reader. KeepGoogleReader.com claims that already nearly 20,000 people have said they “want to keep Google Reader.”
“If Google won’t keep Google Reader alive, then lets get them to open source the code and we will run it ourselves! Who is with me?” the petition’s description reads.