Google has stuck to its guns and is pulling the plug on its free RSS reader, Google Reader.
Following the shock announcement back in March that it planned to close the service, Google has now followed through with its plan, forcing users of the service to seek alternative RSS readers from the end of today.
Although still very popular with a small core of users, the company decided the product wasn't broadly popular enough to be worth sustaining. This was despite a petition to keep the service going receiving 100,000 signatures within a few days.
Google software engineer Alan Green said of the closure: "Usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products... We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience."
Created in 2005, Google Reader quickly became among the most popular RSS readers thanks to its simple design and speed.
With the demise of Google Reader, numerous companies have jumped at the opportunity to grab a share of its users, with the likes of Feedly offering a layout similar to Google Reader as well as a one-click tool for transferring old content. Digg also created a brand new reader called Digg Reader, which will be publicly available from tomorrow.
Other alternatives receiving recommendations include Newsvibe, Pulse, Tiny Tiny RSS, The Old Reader and NewsBlur.