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Google to Shut Down Google Reader RSS Service

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Google’s doing some spring cleaning, again.  The company, as it has in years past, is killing some of its services, most notably its RSS Web application Google Reader.

The service, for those who never used it, allows you to view all your RSS feeds -- headlines and articles from news organizations -- in one central spot.  Come July 1, though, you won’t be able to read anything using the application; you won’t be able to use it at all.

While the 7-year-old service is one of the most popular RSS services on the Web, Google says the number of users has declined.  It also says it would prefer to focus on fewer products.

“We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience,” Google’s Alan Green wrote on Google’s blog late Wednesday night.

When reached by ABC News, Google would not divulge the number of Google Reader users, but it does acknowledge on its blog that its users are “devoted.”

“Google Reader” trended on both Twitter and Google Wednesday night.  Others took to signing a petition, which has more than 12,000 signatures.

Still, while there are those impassioned fans, many never used RSS and now get their news through social media service like Twitter or Facebook.

“RSS never caught on as mainstream consumer experience but Google Reader provided a powerful resource as a back-end aggregator that could sync content across applications and platforms,” Michael Gartenberg, Gartner research director, told ABC News.

The Next Web has reported that Google decided to pull the plug on Reader and devote those resources to Google+, the company’s social network.

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