google-reader-not-availableIt’s official: Google will be closing down their flagship reader, Google Reader, will permanently close down. Google made this controversial decision angering many loyal users to the platform. What’s more, the “Learn More” link doesn’t explain why the decision was made, but rather what to do before they shut down the service.

However, the good news is that Google allows one to download their reader data in an XML file, in order to not lose the list of websites.

We still don’t know why Google has done this. Our assumptions include:

Money

Google isn’t making any money from it. They already tightened their belt by nixing the free version of Google Apps for business on new clients. Perhaps this is the next step for them.

Relevant Data No Longer Needed

Google’s main reason for offering services for free has been to collect data. Perhaps Google feels like it has collected enough data over the past few years to take next steps, or perhaps Google is realizing that the data they’re gathering isn’t relevant enough for launching/modifying new products.

Lack of Google Plus Integration

Google has long ago made the decision to integrate all of their products, one by one, with Google Plus. However, some apps are more difficult to integrate than others and perhaps Google Reader is one of those victims.

Also, we feel that there has been a lot of confusion going on in Google since Google Plus has been introduced. Competing with Facebook, Google may be trying to integrate everything into one platform the way Facebook has theirs.

Again, this is all speculation. In any event, this shows that in a “free” world the owner can do whatever it wants without needing to hear complaints from others. Nothing in this world is really free.