I have been using google reader on and off for a few years now. I know why the usage was down, and why stuff like google reader was never going to survive.
There is just too much news out there.
You might say there was always too much news out there. Let see how i used google reader.
I had about 30 feeds in my google reader. Everyday i had more than 1000 stories to read. No sooner i finished them more were coming in.
Here are some examples
Techmeme before you would only get about 10 stories a day. Now it crosses 200 Stories per day.
Before just reading engadget or gizmodo was fine. Now you have to add Verge into that list and all of them have tripled their stories per day. Each one publishes nearly 100 stories per day.
Even if i just hit mark all as read next day there will be 1000 more stories. Unlike regular webpages, Google reader remember every story until you read it.
This is the reason why people were using less and less of google reader and why flipboard and other apps have become popular.
Flipboard if you miss one day, new stories are ready next day. You don’t have to worry about old stories. But in google reader they will be waiting for you to read and clean, which is one more chore people had to do every day.
This is why facebook and twitter are also popular. You can hop on when you want to read few stories and just ignore when you don’t want. There is no unread tweets section etc.
With so much information out there google reader was bound to fail.
Now that google reader is going away i will just stick to few sites and read them on the web. No more feeling guilty of not reading..