Google last night made the shocking announcement that it would be shutting down Google Reader in about four months' time. The search giant made the announcement via the official Google Blog in a post entitled 'A Second Spring of Cleaning.' Yesterday's post is a follow on from 2011's clean out that saw the death of Google Desktop, Google Maps API for Flash, and Sidewiki (among others).
"We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined," Google explained. "So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months."
Unfortunately, Google hasn't talked much about what avid users of the service can do once Reader does go offline. Other produces, like Google Wave, were shut down to make way for other solutions (in Google Wave's case, Google+). Right now, fans of the service are feeling a bit lost and abandoned.