When Google announced back in March that its popular RSS feed Google Reader would shut down on July 1, the company offered no reason for the decision beyond noting that, while a niche audience still used the service regularly, the numbers just weren’t strong enough.
But in a recent interview with Wired, Google’s Senior Director of News and Social Products Richard Gringras revealed the real reason for Reader’s demise: smartphones, tablets and the rise of mobile services.
“As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process,” said Gringras. “Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day.”
The rise of mobile has fundamentally changed the way we access news, and Google believes that RSS subscribers can be better served by the two-pronged approach of Google+ and Google Now. While Now predicts what you want to read and know, taking into account time of day and location to deliver the news, Google+ brings you content and news based on your social network.
So when Reader gets the axe in just a few short weeks you’ll have two choices: switch over to a new RSS reader (maybe Digg’s incoming RSS reader) or step into Google’s mobile world and put your faith in Google+ and Now.