Just how many people will be impacted when Google Reader shuts down? Google itself isn't saying, but Google Operating System has crunched some of the relevant numbers.
These are the three most popular RSS feeds via Reader:
- CNN (24.3 million)
- Engadget (6.6 million)
- New York Times (1.2 million)
That's a fast drop, but looking at the biggest players ignores the value of the 'long tail effect' and the needs of individual users. The utility of RSS comes from the fact you can track anything you like. A major news story via a site like is going to emerge through multiple channels. An update about a specific technology product might not.
RSS isn't a standard that Google alone owns; there are plenty of other alternatives. However, the reliance of many desktop products on Google for feed management does mean we're in for a bumpy few months.
We need to focus! Keep the self-driving car, magic glasses, laptop, handheld OS and Brazilian social network. Ditch the feed reader. #google
— Jordi Böhme López (@jordibohmelopez) March 14, 2013
Google Reader Data Points [Google Operating System]