RSS Still Not Dead, Google Says

The "RSS is dead" meme is getting people, or rather geeks, up in arms again and the argument seems to be the same as ever, Twitter and Facebook are killing RSS.

The shutdown of Bloglines, one of the oldest RSS readers that pretty much started the whole thing, sparked a discussion again and even Google stepped in to defend the technology.

Google Reader is now the world's most popular feed reader and has been for a while, so it makes sense that Google would take its side.

"Since Reader's fifth anniversary is also approaching (though it feels like yesterday, Reader was launched on October 7, 2005), we thought it might be a good time to reflect on how Reader has grown over the past few years," Google Reader's Mihai Parparita wrote.

"While we were busy redesigning (twice!), making friends with Buzz and iGoogle, translating, breaking up, gossiping and playing, more and more people picked up the Reader habit," he added.

Google even provided a graph showing growth in user numbers from launch in 2005 until today. Despite what some recent numbers from analytics companies say, Google Reader has been getting new users all this time and has now reached an all-time high, although growth leveled off at one point earlier this year.

The graph lists weekly active users, most services only show monthly active users. Usage is also on the rise, the number of items read per day has been growing since launch as well. Of course, since more people are using Reader, this is hardly surprising.

And Reader may be getting another influx of new users, exiled Bloglines users looking for an alternative. Granted, there probably aren't that many of them in the first place, or the service wouldn't be shutting down.

And, since you can export your feeds from Bloglines and then import them in Reader, it's pretty easy to switch since most people already have a Google account, needed for Reader.

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