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> That's why Google killed Google Reader, for example. Subscribing to an RSS feed and having an RSS reader deliver 100% of what the user signed up for in an orderly, linear and predictable and reliable fashion is a pointless business for Google.

If you understand this - you start to understand most of Google's decisions (even if you might not like them).

I understand it, I just don't buy it. Reader was a great opportunity to apply machine learning. When left neglected to a couple of days, my feed reader becomes a huge pain to sift through. There's a lot of room for innovation in this space, a la Inbox.

I'm not accusing Google of anything, but their treatment of Atom/RSS can be likened to Microsoft's old Embrace/Extend/Extinguish strategy. I honestly believe that in some ways it's worse off now than it would've been had Google not got involved. Killing Reader was at worst malicious and at best irresponsible.

This is sort of interesting double-speak on Google's part.

1. Kills RSS - forces people to receive updates from people / blogs / companies you want to follow in email.

2. Wow, that inbox is looking pretty messy - we should help clean it up!

3. We made a nifty little app to help keep your inbox clean (and filter out those annoying companies you used to subscribe to via RSS).

4. Our customers like their inboxes clean - so if you're a company and you want to talk to your customer - you better pay for a spot.

RSS + Email were dumb pipes. Google's doing everything in it's power to control those pipes either y eliminating them (RSS) or using their near-monopoly to shift people to a new standard (gmail/inbox). Now, this is all smart on their part, but not necessarily great down the road for consumer or companies.

Really? You actually think email became a mess just because Reader was shut down? It's not like there are about elventy hojillion competitors in that space to choose from!

This smells like the "new coke" argument to me.

Google has lots of pointless products that don't make any money, it's not why reader was killed.

What was the reason then?

It never attracted a giant user base. I miss Reader (especially the pre-G+ integration version) and I wish it was still around, but it's not mysterious why it got killed. If it had hundreds of millions of users it wouldn't have died.

This: Google's scale of operation doesn't work well for a free service with a small number of users - the legal, localization and support overhead is disproportionately expensive on a very small service, unless it's a paid one.

It apparently had only 10k users. 10k users that loved it, but still not really enough for google to allocate resources to support and develop it.

That's astonishing. Do you have a reference for that number?

No - it was a number being thrown around here on HN when Reader got the chop.

The G+ juggernaut rolled over it. Same reason photos went to hell for a few years until G bought a few startups and started over.

This is why on the web, google has never been able to shutdown startups from boutiques to trying to clone groupon, they lack true empathy for the consumer. Google had the technical know how to build Nest easily, but it would have never had the empathy Nest had. Just look at the bland google+. Let the google employee downvotes begin!


Please don't bait other users by inviting them to downmod you.

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