Column: Why Facebook and AOL think you need a news reader app
When Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that its Google Reader feature would be discontinued as of July 1, the outpouring of rage was loud and immediate.
Still, it barely registered as an Internet phenomenon. Millions of people were annoyed, but a billion more said, in effect, “Huh? What’s a news reader?”
Which makes it interesting that AOL (NYSE:AOL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are falling all over each other to rush out a replacement for a feature that Google apparently decided could never achieve critical mass.
The early judgment of tech writers is that both efforts are likely to be a mess, but that conclusion is premature to say the least. AOL’s version went up hours ago as a limited-access beta test, and Facebook’s news reader is literally just a rumor.