Google Reader has been my favorite web application for keeping up with my favorite blogs since the first time I found it several years ago. It’s so convenient and easy to use that I never had to think about any other RSS Feed readers available on the web. However, Google’s recent attempt to bury it down really concerns me. I’m frustrated that Google is literally burying it in order to promote Google+. If you want proof, continue reading.
Google was criticized some months ago when it redesigned Google Reader in order to match it with the new sleek design of the rest of it service which followed the core design concept of whistle-blower, Google+. I didn’t have any problem with the redesign; in fact, I love the new design. Some people find it too complex to use, but I can quickly adapt new technologies so it really didn’t bother me at all.
Google first started to bury Google Reader right from within Google’s most popular web service, Gmail. Not many of us have noticed but folks at The Verge caught Google’s little trick with empty inbox. Previously, if you cleared all your messages from the inbox, Google would suggest you to check out Google Reader to find new stuff to read. However, in a recent quiet update, Google replaced the link with Google+ and asked users to check out the site to see what people were talking about.
But the question to ask is, does it really matter? I came up with the answer, no. Because it’s really a nice way to introduce new people to Google+ and get them involved in the social circling network (that’s what I call it 😉 ). But I started to feel the concern when Google recently updated its top dark bar visible on top of all Google services including Gmail.
Earlier, we had Google Reader’s link on the visible space of the bar. However, recently Google buried it down under the More menu and I have to actually look for Reader every time I want to visit it. Look at the very first screenshot posted with this post. You’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.
Of course, I can visit Google Reader the traditional way by entering the URL in the addressbar. But I’m just too used to clicking the link there. I don’t keep a bookmark bar in my browser because that eats up real estate from my screen. So, it’s all frustrating.
My request to Google, Google+ does have potential and you don’t really need to bury down your other services to promote it. We use Google+ and we know it will rock. Not in the way Facebook does, because “Facebook used to reconnect with old friends and Google+ is ideal for connecting with new people and people you care about.” For your information, Facebook doesn’t want you to add complete strangers. Google+ does. That’s how many people differentiate Google+ from Facebook.
So, dear Google, again, please stop burying Google Reader. I know what you want. You want people to stop using RSS, create Google+ Pages and tease people to add them on Google+. But trust me, RSS has its own place and it’s not gonna die anytime soon. So, please stop killing the great little application you’ve created.