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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How Google have lost opportunity to get millions of Google+ users

Google Reader is gone now. Millions of frustrated users found their new home in Feedly, The Old Reader, Digg and more. The millions that could have become active part of the service that Google seems to care the most now – Google+. How? Obviously, very easy.

RSS is a stream of information you are interested in, therefore you start to follow it. You subscribe to a number of such sources and finally read a stream of it. Now, if you think about social networks, Google+ in particular, you start to follow people you are interested in and start to read their posts (OK, obviously you interact with them as well, but let us leave it for now). Hmmm, something sounds similar here …

So, what should have Google done? I guess you already know. If you could add RSS to circles, if you could automatically migrate all your Reader feeds to a RSS circle and read your favorite feeds directly in the Google Plus stream, would you do it? I would. I don’t care if I read my feeds in Reader or Google Plus. I just want that content.  Once I started reading the Google Plus stream, quite likely I would start sharing and become active Google Plus user.  I would but I will not.  I guess substantial part of the Reader users would

Probably Google hoped to see the users changing their habits to the more modern, social ones. But seems like the Reader crowd are just old dogs who do not learn new tricks. Apparently, I am an old dog. Regardless, I’ve read only about various RSS services breaking down under unexpected gift from Google, never about huge shift to Plus.

Google could have gained substantial part that Reader crowd to Google Plus. They could have had me looking into Google Plus many times every day. Instead, I feel left out without migration path, I’m now a user of a different RSS reader service and Google is where it was with its Plus service. Sorry Google.


  1. This would have been really smart. I don't know how it is lost on Google that reader users were content-generating nodes in their network. The perfect people to create content on the currently content-less Google+

  2. Backward compatibilities are drowning users in paleolithic software. Reader users could have switched to Currents.

  3. Yep, RSS could have beeen a "data source" for your stream. Just make it a sibling to the main stream or something. Wouldn't have captured all of the users, but might have gotten more using G+ and living in that interface more. Now, I'm using Feedly + BufferApp to send out content to people.

  4. I don't know, you would have to create a circle for each folder of your Reader account ? That doesn't sound useful to me.

  5. You can do it right now


  6. I agree with all of this! It's such a great idea


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