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#1 +techbeck

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 20:50

Google is taking a lot of heat for its decision to scrap the popular Reader RSS feed aggregator, leading many to question why it would pull the plug on such a popular service. It turns out that the answer might have a lot to do with the hidden costs of safeguarding privacy. According to a report from All Things D, an unnamed source says that the closure is at least partly because of Google’s reluctance to build out the staff and infrastructure needed to deal with legal and privacy issues related to the product.

"Unless it's going to get to 100 million users it's not worth doing."

The source says that Google is trying to position the company so that it stops getting stuck in expensive privacy lawsuits, like the $7 million Wi-Fi data-slurping case in the US, by adding dedicated staff to deal with those issues to each of its teams. When the company announced it would be shuttering Reader, the service reportedly didn’t even have a project manager or full-time engineer assigned to it, and it’s said that Google didn’t want to spend the money to build the service out into a tentpole app. And while many longtime users of the service have questioned why Google doesn’t simply sell Reader off to a third party, its deep integration with other Google Apps means it’s apparently easier for the company to just shutter it. So how many users would have made it worthwhile for Google to keep Reader around? Former Reader product manager Nick Baum tells ATD, "my sense is, if it’s a consumer product at Google that’s not making money, unless it’s going to get to 100 million users it’s not worth doing."

http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/24/4143238/google-decision-to-scrap-reader-influenced-by-cost-of-privacy-compliance


#2 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 21:24

"Unless it's going to get to 100 million users it's not worth doing."


So they're going to strip out the majority of their applications then? Calendar? Translate? Finance?

#3 Growled

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 00:58

I'm willing to bet they won't shut down anything else for a while. I think there was much more of a whiplash from this than they ever imagined. It went far beyond the Reader users and made a lot of people question a lot of Google's actions.

#4 OP +techbeck

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:41

I'm willing to bet they won't shut down anything else for a while. I think there was much more of a whiplash from this than they ever imagined. It went far beyond the Reader users and made a lot of people question a lot of Google's actions.


I, for one, am not really questioning Google at all. They had their hands in to a lot of things and needed to scale back. But none of what they have done as effected me so really, I dont care either way. I just use Maps, GMAIL, Android, and that is pretty much it. Well, Drive every now and then and YouTube to.

#5 Growled

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:36

I'm not questioning them either. I use them totally. I love their services. I get my news mostly from Twitter anyway. Can't say when I last used Reader.

#6 OP +techbeck

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:36

I'm not questioning them either. I use them totally. I love their services. I get my news mostly from Twitter anyway. Can't say when I last used Reader.


I can understand why people who used Reader would be upset. However, there are many other alternatives that do just as good a job, if not better. Other people complaining are just looking for reasons to bash Google. Pretty much like how people complain about what MS and Apple does as well.

#7 Steven P.

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:43

At the end of the day, without looking at how Google used the data it collected for its own purposes, it was still a free service and one they had every right to discontinue if they wanted.

It makes me laugh when people complain about this sort of thing and in the same breath accuse Microsoft or Apple at being anti-competitive with the services they offer (mostly for free as well).

It just means other companies will now be competing for your custom :)

#8 Growled

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:36

I can understand why people who used Reader would be upset. However, there are many other alternatives that do just as good a job, if not better. Other people complaining are just looking for reasons to bash Google. Pretty much like how people complain about what MS and Apple does as well.


Yeah, just for kicks I've been checking out Feedly. Seems very capable to me.

#9 dead.cell

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:55

The source says that Google is trying to position the company so that it stops getting stuck in expensive privacy lawsuits, like the $7 million Wi-Fi data-slurping case in the US, by adding dedicated staff to deal with those issues to each of its teams.


Well, that part should be easy. I think practicing some self-discipline and, oh I dunno, perhaps common sense would help to avoid things like that. For instance: it doesn't take a genius to figure out that exploiting a hole in Safari to track users is NOT a good idea. I guess they rather enjoyed spending $22.5 million instead though...