A howl of anguish issued forth from the internet as Google announced that it will shut down its RSS reader, Google Reader, on July 1 2013.

Understating things just a tad, the official Google Reader Twitter account conceded that "We know many of you will be sad to see it go," prompting a cavalcade of "DON'T DO IT THEN" responses.

But do it Google will, and it says the reasons are twofold: "Usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we're pouring all of our energy into fewer products."

Money talks

Of course, the cold hard fact of the matter is that Google Reader doesn't make Google any money - it's just a brilliant, useful, free tool that costs Google money to run.

One of the earliest creators of Google Reader, Chris Wetherell, was probably the least surprised at the decision:

"When they replaced sharing with +1 on Google Reader, it was clear that this day was going to come," he told Giga Om in an interview.

And so it always comes back to this: Google+. Google is determined that its social network will take the place of countless other web services but social sharing and RSS reading are two very different beasts.

This being the internet, there is already a petition in place begging Google to keep Reader running - it probably won't help but 25,648 people have already signed it and you can do so here if you want.

In the meantime, Google advises you to export your Reader data using Google Takeout and take your RSS reading business elsewhere.