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.