Social Media Outcry As Google Reader Gets Set To Shut Down

By Sheldon Levine - Thursday, March 14th, 2013 at 10:10 am  

I’ve said this many times before, but I’ll say it again; when news hits the fastest way to learn about it is combing though social media.

Yesterday I was traveling and was in airports and on planes all day, so it wasn’t until I landed and opened Twitter that found out that Google announced yesterday that they were going to be shutting down Google Reader this summer. Google Reader, which launched in 2005 became one of the most used RSS readers by people around the world. Even many fancier RSS reader programs integrated with Google Reader to get their accounts and feeds from. I was upset about this news, but I wasn’t the only one.

This morning I took to MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to take a quick look at some of the reactions around Google Reader. Just in the past few days there was almost 317,000 mentions of Google Reader. I found 7,823 blog posts, 2,388 online news articles, 5,223 forum postings and 301,551 tweets about it.

While this may not seem like a whole lot of reaction, it actually is compared to the amount of talk about Google Reader that was happening previously. When I looked at the mentions for Google Reader over the past seven days I found that there was virtually no talk of the RSS reader previous to yesterday’s announcement. But when the news hit, everyone started talking about it.

When I say everyone started talking about it, I mean it. A look at our geo-location heat map of where tweets were coming from about Google Reader shows that people all around the world had something to say about the sad news.

What were all of these people talking about? Well, many of them were talking about the news in general. Looking at our buzzgraph we can see words like “RSS” “feeds” and “shutting” down. Google said it was due to “declining” usage, but from the outcry we’ve seen it seems like a lot of people still rely on the service. Of course, when the news broke people also right away started to discuss “alternative” or “alternate” ways for people to read their RSS feeds.

A look at some of the popular phrases being used also shows that a lot of the talk is focused around the reporting of Google Reader being shut down. People are trying to get the word out (some thinking that this will hopefully lead Google to save it).

A look at the most RT’d tweets around the Google Reader news show the concern of people. Here I found people retweeting the news, talk about what to use instead, concern about current apps that rely on Google Reader, a petition to try and save it and of course people making jokes about the situation.

What do you think about the news? Are you upset about it as well?

We also want to know what you plan on using instead of Google Reader once it shuts down. Let us know in the comments.

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