The real reason Google wants to kill RSS

Marco Arment: RSS represents the antithesis of this new world: it’s completely open, decentralized, and owned by nobody, just like the web itself. It allows anyone, large or small, to build something new and disrupt anyone else they’d like because nobody has to fly six salespeople out first to work out a partnership with anyone… READ THE REST


Bravo! Google (et al) does lots of good things but should not be handed the keys to the internet. If we translate this kind of thinking to the hardware, how wonderful would it be if the network itself was just our collection of encrypted routers? Then we could tell all the snoopers to go fish. Somebody is working on that idea, aren’t they?

BTW: the new comment system won’t let you make tiny corrections to your comments!


Ridiculous rant. Google doesn’t think in those terms. It’s just another case of Page’s “more wood fewer arrows” reorganization, which has been ongoing since 2011.


But Android is open and countless companies and startups are building out their companies entirely off of it. Oh no! Is Android next?

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If killing Google Reader is equivalent to “killing RSS”, then RSS was apparently already dependent on Google to such an extent that it can hardly be considered a viable or significant part of the independent/free Internet ecosystem.

In short: either RSS is still going strong, or it’s gone and no great loss.


Really Simple Syndication is too technically good a set of formats to completely go away. Geeks are especially fond of it and in response to the Google, I’m going to set up my own RSS feed and encourage others to do so. ^…^~

…except nobody claimed that killing Google Reader is equivalent to killing RSS. As Arment says in the linked article, “RSS was the original web-service API. The original mashup enabler. And it’s still healthy and going strong.” Maybe read the linked article before you comment?


The article ties RSS with:

that world formed the web’s foundations

and notes that it is “a threat” to “Google, Facebook, and Twitter” and they

want to shut it down. “Sunset” it. “Clean it up.” “Retire” it.

And those are precisely the terms used by Google and others when killing a product… you have difficulty joining these dots?

In the beginning of the internet, its citizens each ran their own machines for email, ftp, web, etc. Twitter should be a protocol, not a website. Same with facebook/google+ style sites. Hell, it could all just run over email with a few special tags here and there. Decentralized and not under the control of anyone.


The lack of RSS support in chrome is the mostly the reason I still use Firefox.

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Whoa, they have RSS readers that aren’t cloud based? Huh, learn something new everyday.


Your friends have no idea what a StatusNet is. Or

It exists.

It’s like Facebook, not as slick, and your friends aren’t on it. So it’s like Google+, but not as slick.


Oh Lord, retiring a client is not killing a data format. RSS is a very restrictive format in any case. It would be nice if we made an RSS 3.0 with some lacking data nodes, like thumbnail for instance.


It was awesome, and I loved that internet, but it didn’t have one thing - everybody else. It was for the few technically savvy, or those with savvy relatives. It was maybe even better that way, if the unwashed hordes and eternal Septembers are troubling. But it’s twitter, facebook, google’s services, et al, that let everyone else interact the same way. In some ways, though there were fewer 990 lb gorillas, it was actually less democratic.

I’m not sure that the internet we have is better than the one we had, but in this one, my 12 year old nephew can put up his own birding blog. There’s something to be said for that.

(Disclaimer: I don’t like having 900 lb animals in my playground, either. I’m just saying there’s a reason things are the way they are, and the accounting is ambiguous enough that I’m not willing to call it a net loss.)


Google still owns FeedBurner (which uses Atom/RSS), and Google doesn’t have a proprietary feed system or reader of any sort. If they wanted to kill RSS, they’d need to offer a compelling alternative.

Google Reader was a popular product, but popularity isn’t enough for the “more wood fewer arrows” campaign. Monetization is probably a factor, and there’s probably a component for how close to core business areas the product is. I’m guessing the cost of keeping the service running is also in there. Reader obviously failed on one of those fronts, if not more.

Need a new hobby, writer perhaps?

This is BS rant… The next day GReader was shut down, Google announced updates to PubSubHubbub (aka PUsH) protocol and Feed API for better and faster message transfer without the need of periodic polling… And yes, those are Open Source and completely free to use and implement in your own services… Many RSS/Atom feeds are already PUsH-enabled which allows compatible RSS-clients to receive content updates as soon as they are published without polling the server every 5 minutes… I personally use TinyTinyRSS now, which supports that easily…

I’m really sorry that Google is killing its client as I really enjoyed using it. Reader was one of the few remaining Google services that I used. I’ve already found several viable replacements so it’s not skin off my nose.

Google is slowly making itself irrelevant to the way that I use the Internet. This is no skin off my nose as well.


Woh, woh, woh! Wait a minute. No use to turn everything into a conspirative theory.
The thing I noticed was: most people just don’t grasp the power of RSS: the convenience of grouping all your favorite blogs into one reader and of being able to do a news roundup without having to visit each and every site. That’s probably because most people really don’t care that much about diversity of information. They really just want pay occasional visits to two, maybe three blog sites. That’s all. To them, RSS is a mystery. Very few are those who, like myself, follow about 200 blogs and enjoy the power of RSS: to be able to separate the content and regroup it according to one’s need and then being able to browse it like one was zapping through myriads of TV channels. That’s why there never really was a browser race in the field of RSS readers and I, for myself, am still using a version of Netnewswire from 2008 because no significant progress has been made since then. On the contrary. Readers have begun to disappear around '05 already and Firefox has removed the small, conveniant RSS Icon in its menu bar years ago already, thus givin RSS a much harder blow than what Google does right now. The good news is: RSS will still not die, even if RSS readers have failed to become a standard, because RSS has become a standard in movable type and I guess there will always be some sort of geeky ready aroud for the rest of us.
As a side note: I always despised Google Reader anyway :wink:

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I also loved the concept but hated the application. Just getting used to Feedly which will do fornow …