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Google Reader is No More – Where Have You Gone? July 2, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, polls.
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Thank you for stopping by.

Google Reader has been discontinued. We want to thank all our loyal fans. We understand you may not agree with this decision, but we hope you’ll come to love these alternatives as much as you loved Reader.

Sincerely,

The Google Reader team

Frequently-asked questions

What will happen to my Google Reader data?

All Google Reader subscription data (eg. lists of people that you follow, items you have starred, notes you have created, etc.) will be systematically deleted from Google servers. You can download a copy of your Google Reader data via Google Takeout until 12PM PST July 15, 2013.

Will there be any way to retrieve my subscription data from Google in the future?

No — all subscription data will be permanently, and irrevocably deleted. Google will not be able to recover any Google Reader subscription data for any user after July 15, 2013.

Why was Google Reader discontinued?

Please refer to our blog post for more information.

Google Reader is now officially gone.  The above is all that is left at the URL.  No reprieve was forthcoming, though you still can download your feed list until July 15.

I swapped over to The Old Reader last week.  Among other things, it has the ability to create an RSS feed of stories I flag, which I put in the side bar here.  And you can access the service through a nice iOS reader called Feeddler.  However, with Google Reader finally gone, a lot of people are now rushing out to find an alternative, so performance is really, really slow today, when it works at all.  I am essentially feedless now.

And I am not sure they will stick around.  They are asking for funding, but then require you to join another service to donate… or you can use Bitcoin… which simply isn’t going to happen in my case.  I already have my financial information out in too many locations as it is.

But now that Google Reader is gone, I can have my final poll and ask where people ended up.  The last one showed that most people hadn’t changed over yet.  They are probably doing that today.

So what RSS reader have you moved to?

If you are still looking for an alternative there are a few articles out there comparing them.

Comments»

1. Joe Birdwell - July 2, 2013

After seeing what they are trying to do, I’m giving Digg’s Reader a shot.

2. Sebastian Mortas (@smortas) - July 2, 2013

Don’t fear, your data isn’t really lost. The NSA still got it. If you really need it, you should try with a friendly FOIA request.

Also, feedly.com

3. Wilhelm Arcturus - July 2, 2013

@Sebastian Mortas – Yes, or course.

I looked into Feedly this morning after The Old Reader started going into cardiac arrest and wasn’t impressed. Their feed import system is linked to Google Reader. You import to Reader, then Feedly can use it. With Reader down, there is no way to import feeds today. Not cool.

4. Sebastian Mortas (@smortas) - July 2, 2013

@Wilhelm

Well, yes. You had to import before the switch. That was pretty widely known (and publicised), though.

For me, it went without a hitch… but it might not be an option if you didn’t do the import while GoogleReader was still up.

5. Wilhelm Arcturus - July 2, 2013

@Sebastian Mortas – The part I am not impressed with is that they do not appear to have a post-Google Reader plan. And Google Reader going down had also been publicized for quite a while now, so it isn’t likely they were caught by surprise.

Of course, I wouldn’t need Feedly if The Old Reader hadn’t pretty much died today. So lots of blame to go around.

6. Sebastian Mortas (@smortas) - July 2, 2013

@Wilhelm
They weren’t caught by surprise, that is why they told everybody for month to log in ONCE until GR went down. Then you could take over all your settings/feeds. But even if you didn’t, they still are a fully functional newsreader. They do have their own backend (now). You can still set up and start collecting your feeds. (The only thing you gained by converting before is the ease of setup, you don’t need to do all the importing of your old feeds manually).

For me, it is – right now – all I need.

7. shivoa - July 2, 2013

Today Feedly is also definitely feeling the strain of the daily users who stayed until the end and now have moved their reloads now they have no choice. Seeing times for page generation going from the normal 200ms to 2s, not unusable but you notice you’re waiting for a website to give you another page.

On the question of imports in a post-GReader world, Feedly just added an OPML export function to their config page and an import will be added in time so people will be able to migrate existing, non-GReader (now there is no Google Reader) data into the system and not start from scratch. They’ve been prioritising the stuff for people who moved early and with the load times I think they’re close to capacity now so allowing people who had not taken advantage of Normandy (their project to rebuild the GReader back-end and public APIs on their own servers and migrate any users who registered before Google killed their APIs – a decent number of tools that used that APIs have now migrated to work on the Feedly cloud API so they can continue operating without building their own Reader back-end) might just mean Feedly would becomes like TOR and not useful for anyone for a few days.

That’s some of the reasons I moved to Feedly; they saw the community losing a public API and worked to save it & they’ve been regularly updating with the result of sprints focussed on making new users happy with the added options and settings we expect. Unfortunately they can’t do everything at once. I’d keep an ear open for once they’ve got OPML import up and running; Feedly v16 is the current version, the plan is import comes in v17: http://blog.feedly.com/2013/06/29/opml-export/

8. Scrutable - July 2, 2013

I use Feedly, but am mindful that Feedly is trying hard to be all things to all people, and I question whether they’ve bitten off more than they can chew…

Some points about the relationship between Feedly and Google Reader:
– Historically, Feedly used Google Reader for its backend, so it’s not wrong to remember that about them.
– But when Google announced shutting down Google Reader, Feedly started developing their own backend.
– Feedly deployed their own backend about a month ago, and automatically migrated Feedly users from the old Google Reader backend to the new Feedly Cloud backend.
– They did not migrate people who were not Feedly users, because that can’t log into your Google account without your permission.

Now that Google has shut down the the old Google Reader backend, Feedly cannot automatically migrate people any more, because Google isn’t running the backend API any more.

Feedly is working on OPML import, so you will be able to take the Reader/subscriptions.xml file from your Google Takeout and import those subscriptions into Feedly.

http://blog.feedly.com/2013/06/29/opml-export/

9. Wilhelm Arcturus - July 2, 2013

@Sebastian Mortas – They did NOT tell everybody. They told their current users. Anybody showing up post-GR is out of luck, even if they have their handy OPML file in hand. Telling me it is my fault because they don’t support the industry standard for RSS feed imports isn’t exactly helpful.

And they are behind on their mobile app as well, which requires you to log into Google still. Maybe they were not caught by surprise, but they certainly seem to be sitting there with their pants around their ankles. I am somebody who wants to give a service money if they turn out to be a decent RSS reader. What they are telling me is that they really don’t want my money.

@shiova – As above, that is fine that they want to support their current customers. But today The Old Reader has crapped out on me, so I need something new and they are telling me “sorry, no vacancy.” If they do not want me today, that probably means I won’t be a customer at some point further down the road.

10. Wilhelm Arcturus - July 2, 2013

And it appears that somebody has gotten out the defibrillator and revived The Old Reader for the moment, so I have feeds again. But I am still looking for a backup, as The Old Reader doesn’t seem like it might last. Feedly hasn’t necessarily lost me as a customer yet. I can wait for a bit now.

11. Krel - July 2, 2013

Feedly, for one specific reason – it works with Reeder on my iPhone. From a UI standpoint that means no changes, which is nice.

Feedly on Firefox is close to GR, but just enough differences to be annoying. I suppose I’ll get used to it.

12. Caryne - July 2, 2013

Digg has the potential to be good but it is missing the key feature of letting me see only NEW posts. Very frustrating trying to figure out what’s new and what is stuff I’ve already read.

I can’t say I’m a fan of Feedly either. It just didn’t feel right.

I signed up with The Old Reader and it’s working for now but it’s really slow at times. I have not had any issues accessing though. For look and feel, it’s the closest I’ve found to Google Reader.

13. shivoa - July 2, 2013

I think they are quite accurately telling you no vacancy this week. That’s really bad news if you want to have a short dalliance with Feedly while your main reader is showing why maybe it shouldn’t be your main reader but also protects all the several million who did switch to Feedly from a TOR performance issue that would drive them away to Digg or somewhere else. Their interest in being your ‘reader of last resort’ may not be that high and they are taking the risk of not capturing you today as a convert, later they will have a path to let you move in if you decide to give them a chance but it manages load for them to have prioritised other things and been left with this small window where GReader API import is gone and OPML import is not yet up.

As for the mobile thing, this is a misconception (roadmap also has expanding the login options) due to the original nature of the beast. Your login to Feedly is a Google ID, this is being used like an OpenID (a service they will probably support in the future). That is how you prove who you are, not letting you see GReader. As they originated as a front-end for GReader’s API then obviously they tied their user system into a Google account as you needed one and they needed to know it to get your data from the API. Now they have their own back-end they will be able to create users with their own, internally managed username/passwords or other account services (eg OpenID) but their limited development bandwidth has been spent on other things (like porting the GReader API to their back-end so other teams can make the switch, moving from a browser plugin to open web standards, making a view with similar information density to GReader) so right now you need a Google account to log in. This is unrelated to Google Reader but due to both being Google services this is unfortunately causing confusion.

The current situation is less than ideal. Feedly are of no use to you right now and won’t be until v17 hits (and that sucks). But for anyone who uses one of a number of apps who used the GReader API, Feedly just saved their bacon: http://blog.feedly.com/2013/06/19/feedly-cloud/

That’s why I’d keep an eye open and try out their service when they are accepting users importing in their OPML files (worst case you prefer TOR and jump back to that) and not take their current signs saying ‘full’ to mean they’re not interested in being a sensible platform for accessing the web and should be shunned in the future. I’m not sure if TOR or Digg Reader have published their API (or built a GReader-a-like API interface for easy migration) but that seems like the thing you do when you want to keep something alive and serve the community.

14. Jason Mitchell - July 2, 2013

I already run a webserver at home and so I use Fever, which also works probably even better from a hosting provider. For $30 I control my own server which should continue to work forever (yea I know) as long as RSS stays backwards compatible. There are clients for mobile systems and now Mac with Readkit adding support (plus Reeder for Mac will support it at some point).

My point is this, for something that is part of my daily routine I refuse to use a free service anymore. So either I’m going to host it myself or use a service that allows me to pay. Paying is no guarantee a service will stay up forever, but it sure helps. That’s why I use Pinboard instead of Delicious for bookmarks now too.

15. bhagpuss - July 2, 2013

I moved to Feedly within days of the original announcement that Reader was to close. For my purposes it’s much better than Reader ever was. I use the Index on the PC, which just gives me a plain, a-z listing of all the blogs I follow, with the ones that have new material above a horizontal line. I just click down the list until I’ve read them all and that’s that.

Conversely, the Android tablet version of Feedly gives me everything in a magazine-like format that suits the handheld device perfectly.

Google, however, continue to annoy. Today I kept getting an error when trying to write a post in Blogger. On investigation it seems that overnight Blogger decided it couldn’t handle blog posts without titles, even in draft form. Since the title is almost always the last part of a blog post that I write, this is irritating. And utterly pointless.

16. Mattexl - July 2, 2013

I gave NetVibes a try. It took some massaging to get everything imported and set up yesterday, and the interface is definitely a bit off from GR, but it seems to be working just fine for me. I mainly went with them b/c they were the first reader I tried that would work through my corporate firewall. The Old Reader got blocked for some reason. I still have to figure out if I can get it to work with Feeddler (which I LOVE on my iPad) without having to pay, but for now I’m satisfied. I was really just looking for something to keep up with my feeds until the dust settles and the much smarter, more tech savvy people hammer out the details of which Readers are best in the post GR world.

Hooray for being lazy!

17. Wilhelm Arcturus - July 2, 2013

@Bhagpuss – It was primarily based on your comments that I went to Feedly first when The Old Reader was completely slagged this morning. We’ll see when the rush ends.

@Mattexl – I put down the $4.99 for Feeddler on just the suggestion that I could use it to read The Old Reader on my iPad.

18. Muir - July 2, 2013

I’m tentatively (and absurdly) using a combination of Feedly, Yoleo, Digg. Feedly imported my starred items, but it doesn’t seem to update feeds often, or at least unevenly, and it didn’t import the unread status of articles. Yoleo kept the unread status and updates often and evenly, but it didn’t bring in starred items and it doesn’t really have a compact view yet (supposedly in the works). Digg updates fairly often but somewhat evenly and kept my unread and starred items, but they don’t have an option to hide read items and there’s no Android app yet. So nothing really fits quite right. I considered TinyTinyRSS, but lacking a server or the knowledge, time, or desire to set one up, I passed for now.

19. bhagpuss - July 2, 2013

I’m betting you made Reader do a lot more work than I ever did, though. I just want a simple list that updates in real time.

Muir makes an interesting point about how frequent Feedly updates. I have noticed that I sometimes see new posts float to the top of my blogroll some time before they pop up in Feedly. I noticed it today with West Karana, which I’d read from the blogroll well over an hour before it appeared on Feedly. Whether that’s related to the unusual circumstances following Reader’s final closure or more indicative of the usual speed of updating I’m not sure.

20. Wilhelm Arcturus - July 2, 2013

@Bhagpuss – I suspect that some of that is related to the resource constraints being seen today with new people hopping on to the services. I saw the same thing with The Old Reader and during the last week of life with Google Reader when it was clear that they were reducing the resources allocated to it. Things were not popping right away. We shall see when things smooth out.

21. Mattexl - July 2, 2013

@Wilhelm Yes, I’ve paid for Feedler Pro already, so I don’t want to have to pay additional for a service to consolidate my feeds onto the app. I haven’t checked yet if I’ve lost everything, or if it was just a one time link to load all the blogs into the Feedler program as part of set up. My gut is telling me that, since GR is now gone, and I had to put in my Google credentials to run Feedler at all, that my feeds are now gone. But I’ll have to check tonight when I get home.

22. Jenks - July 2, 2013

I was waiting for Digg, as they said they’d be up and running by 7/26. On 7/28 I didn’t want to wait any longer and tried theoldreader. Loving it and seeing no reason to switch, other than a few issues today which I assume are due to a massive influx of people who waited until after the last minute.

23. Muir - July 2, 2013

I had also tried Comma and The Old Reader, but Comma was buggier/slower than any other that I tried, and The Old Reader has the annoying bug/feature that whenever I scroll past an item in compact mode it marks it as read, which to me defeats the purpose of compact mode, or at least why I use it.

24. silvertemplar - July 3, 2013

I am still happy with Newsblur. It’s as close to google reader experience as i can get. I do have a Feedly account and my feeds have been imported ages ago, but Feedly still don’t have a website that works without plugins , and still doesn’t work in corporate standard browser, IE . So i can’t use it. It’s fine on mobile, but i’m not going to maintain 2 different sets of feeds on different platforms.

So newsblur at least got a solid web browser experience, not as fancy as Feedly with the “magazine” look, just a normal google reader style list . Their mobile apps are also doing the job just fine.

25. silvertemplar - July 3, 2013

EDIT: I see Feedly has managed to create a plugin-less experience. So i’m under correction and will investigate further, but it seems a little slow. The message i get is

“feedly is over capacity”

26. Solf - July 3, 2013

“The Old Reader has the annoying bug/feature that whenever I scroll past an item in compact mode it marks it as read”

There’s option for not marking items read as you scroll. But I don’t use compact mode so can’t say if it works there. Works in the full view.

27. Solf - July 3, 2013

Also The Old Reader seemed to be kind to me (it worked :)). But I’m in Europe so my prime-time is different. I also did quite a bit of custom css / custom scripting for it (I hated that it marks posts as read when I click on them, so I’ve disabled that plus some other stuff).

28. shivoa - July 3, 2013

Feedly seem to have found a few bugs in their import process and so prioritised OMPL (specifically tested for Google Reader takeout import at this time, beta) import so that is now live on their webapp: http://blog.feedly.com/2013/07/03/the-fix-to-the-missing-feeds-issue-is-here/

29. Telwyn - July 3, 2013

I mostly use Byline, an iOS app, that takes a Feedly stream and caches it so I can read it on the underground commute to work. I sometimes also look at Feedly in a browser but that’s a rarity and I prefer Byline’s cleancut simplicity. I didn’t stop using Google Reader until the 30th June, up until that point and finding out about Byline I just hadn’t found a solution that worked for me…

30. ElderTroll - July 3, 2013

Feedly is my choice, still not as good as google reader but its the best of the rest.


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