Bye Bye Google Reader! What About Friend Connect??

By Dana Fox

It’s a sad day in blog land. Google has announced that they will be retiring their much loved service, Google Reader. Yep, that’s right. Come July GR will be no more. As you can imagine, this has really upset a ton of bloggers and blog followers the same. Google has stated that “There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we are pouring all of our energy into fewer products…” I can guess those other products they’re focusing on include Google Plus. It’s been pretty obvious that they’ve been trying to force users into using this social site.

Okay, so what can you do and what does this mean for Friend Connect?!  I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Friend Connect will be getting the boot eventually as well. Are you hyperventilating yet?!  Google has failed to mention this but considering that the widget’s website no longer works ( and has been replaced by a Google Plus error page, as well as the fact that they’ve pretty much hidden the friend connect widget from the main selections of your “add a gadget” page in Blogger, I would not be surprised. The two services run pretty much hand in hand.
Unfortunately now that the friend connect site doesn’t work or allow you to login to see your followers anymore, you can no longer send them a little newsletter asking them to follow you elsewhere. I’m sure half of the users didn’t even know you could do this to begin with, but you could, and it’s gone, meaning there is currently no effective way to ensure your followers are able to follow you on another service, like Google Plus (cringe.)
Fortunately for the Reader side of things, you can use Google Takeaway to save a copy of all of your subscriptions and subscribers.
What does this mean for apps you use? A lot of feed reader apps actually use Google Reader to grab your feeds. For example, the subscriptions page on my app, BlogGo. Lame. Developers are going to be pretty busy.
There are other feed reading tools you can use, including Bloglovin‘ and Feedly.  Feedly let’s you automatically transfer your Google Reader subscriptions over. Bloglovin’ also set up a tool that lets you transfer your subscriptions over too!
If you are as unhappy about this as most of us are, you can sign this petition to try to get Google to continue running the service.
In the meantime, I guess I will be trying to get my followers to +1 me on Google Plus (???) or “circle” me, whatever that means.  If you subscribe to Wonder Forest on Google Reader, please also resubscribe using another method as mentioned above.
What will you do to prep for these changes?

Add me on Google + below, or follow on Bloglovin‘! I’ve also just created a Google + group for bloggers! So if you have a blog, join and maybe we can make this a cool place to connect and chat with other bloggers!

Need blog topic ideas? Check out 365 Blog Topic Ideas on Amazon!

Dana Fox
Dana Fox
About me

I am a country loving Canadian with a mind that never sleeps. When I'm not running the Wonder Forest blog ship, you can find me creating artwork for phone cases and home decor, whilst managing the daily tasks of Dana Fox Creative. Visit me at the links below if you wanna be friends!


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  • Kelly Brito

    This has been talked for a while now – that Google Reader would end.
    For me, it's past time. I tried using it but really hated GR. For me, Bloglovin was the way to go.

    I also don't like Friend Connect. In a decade with Blogger, I didn't use it once (to keep up with other Blogger blogs).

    And with Google+, Google is doing their best to transfer everything they own to G+. My greatest loss on this was PicasaWeb – which now is also being integrated to G+.

    As people didn't use Google+ not as nearly as expected, they are forcing us…

  • AUBREY @ Project Lovegood

    I'm quite happy about this. I dislike seeing stats on people's pages, like GFC and have grown to love Bloglovin'. I'm also glad because I've been on Google+ since before it went public and I'm a HUGE supporter. I'm happy that they are putting more work and attention into it because they have an amazing product. It is the fastest growing social networking site for a reason. In fact they were blown away by how accepted it was and is by users. I think people who are only on Facebook assume G+ not growing or is unpopular but the info is out there and it surely is.

    It's also just a respectable company. Many, like me, moved to Google+ because they were disgusted with Facebook as a company and everything Facebook screwed up and showed how much they don't care about their readers Google+ did right and then some. So there is a movement by Google+ readers to encourage Facebookers to "make the switch." It's just a great product and again and again they prove to us that they care about our privacy, needs, desires. It's also a very different atmosphere. G+ is more about connecting and less about following. More people seem to actually talk to one another and comment. It's also more about connecting with people you don't know, as well as the ones you do, and I just love that about it. So some Facebookers would get on G+ and say "ah but my friends aren't on" and get off. To really benefit from G+ any user of it will say you have to "use" it, circle people, talk to people, try out their amazing features like the Hangout option (which has become so popular that's where they premiered the film, Lincoln, and had Spielberg on live broadcasted in time square- and many more people are using G+ Hangouts like they would YouTube), share more than just links to your blog and the like. Okay, I'll get off my G+ groupie soapbox.

    I do thank you for this post and I'll share it with my readers so they know and have the option to make the switch to Bloglovin' or Feedly or Hello Cotton if they so desire.

  • Miss Angie

    I'm already starting to focus on Bloglovin-in fact we're having a huge Gift Card giveaway that is focused on Bloglovin followers. (if you want in let me know) But I'm suuuper interested in Feedly, from what I've seen it looks really pretty. Bloglovin also allows you to import automatically from reader, which is nice.

    Speaking of Bloggo, any word on it not being able to see draft posts? I keep wanting to use it for that, but it only shows me published posts. Otherwise love it.

  • Lindsey Duffin

    I just signed the petition. I will really miss this if they take it away. I have been blogging for just over two weeks now and I love it. GFC was the way I made my connections and I don't want that taken away. I guess I'll need to learn about Bloglovin'.
    Thank you for the informational post, I appreciate it (:

  • cindspectus

    When I found out last night I started doing research on replacement options for Reader (I don't have GFC so that wasn't a problem). People either love or hate Feedly, but I decided I might as well give it a try now so that I can be used to something when Reader is taken down. So far so good, it has a clean interface, and it was really easy to transfer my subscriptions. Just a couple of settings needed to be tweaked based on my personal preferences, but I think I mayyy be okay with Feedly.

    I'm still on the fence about BlogLovin, I need to figure out if that's a better one than Feedly…thoughts?

  • gina

    thanks for posting this info Dana! I am super annoyed with the changes and I guess I will start focusing my efforts on BlogLovin. I have an account there and followers I just never do much with it….

  • Sarah

    I'm a little confused about my Blogger blogroll. Although I followed those people via GFC, and that will be obsolete, they are not in Google Reader…so I can't seem to find a way to transfer them over. Will the blogroll below my dashboard cease to exist? Clearly a novice here…

  • jackie p

    This is just mean on Google's part! lol that's all I use!

    Thanks for providing other blogrolls, that helps a lot! :)

  • Jenn

    You can transfer your subscriptions over to bloglovin as well, I've been using bloglovin exclusively for a long time and I love it!

  • lucia

    Thanks for this informative post! I did panic when I heard the news, but I did easily move everything over to Feedly in about 2 seconds. After reading these comments it seems I can also transfer things over to Bloglovin' too. So you've turned it all to good news! Also Aubrey's comments about google friend connect make me want to actually give it a chance.
    thanks again!

  • meet.make.laugh.

    I really like bloglovin! The phone app works well and I really like the layout. That is too bad about google reader though!

  • Manda Rave

    well that blows :/

  • Dalia

    I so innocently never even gave blogger a thought once I'd heard the new, now it seems I have to get BlogLovin or some other service, not that the choice is mine. :c

  • Sarah S.

    Bloglovin is my #1 reader. When I first started my blog I was using Google plus BUT didn't understand it, so I removed that little google + button, switched to blogger profile and haven't looked back.
    Maybe a Youtube topic you can school us on?! :)

  • Ellie

    I use bloglovin anyway, so this whole thing doesn't really affect me. Oops.

  • Maddy Reid

    Wait.. is google reader the dashboard bit of blogger? or is it just for apps? I don't know, I'm really confused but I know this is not good news!

    • dana @ wonder forest

      Yes google reader powers a lot of stuff, including the Blogger dashboard feed I believe.

  • It’s Sooo Fluffy!

    Thank you for this! Very helpful.

  • Jemma x

    Have signed the petition! xxx

  • Jemma x

    Will this affect blogger blogs? xxx

    • dana @ wonder forest



      How? Oh please :(

  • Yelle

    You're amazing. I really think you are a pioneer for bloggers. Your app is ahead of the game, and now you've offered many solutions for the upcoming lapse of GFC. I will definitely have to reference this post and direct my readers to here when we finally say good bye to GFC.

  • Vanessa

    I started to panic last night- until I learned how to transfer all my subscriptions over to BlogLovin'!

    I don't use Google Reader but I do use my reading list on the bottom of my blogger dashboard. Not sure if that will disappear so I thought it's better to be safe than sorry!

    There's a quick tutorial on my blog if you want to check it out:
    Isle Style Living

  • Jason Lynes

    Passionfruit just may have something in the works to replace GFC…..

    • dana @ wonder forest

      ooOooOOoo I like the sound of that. As long as it's not like that LinkyFollowers thing that never took off 😉

  • Anna Nuttall
    • dana @ wonder forest

      Just read it! I don't think people are worried that it's going to be taken away from them right away, but just like that post said, it will eventually. It's always kind of been just lingering… personally I've been just waiting for the day they announce it will be going away too. With Reader getting the boot though, it will no doubt be next on their list. We've got 4 months for Reader, but I still encourage everyone to think about alternative GFC options because that fact is that you don't KNOW when (or if) it will disappear too. You wouldn't want to be stuck without a plan in mind and then be upset when it actually does go away, right? 😉
      I'd also warn against Feedburner too… since that has also been a product that has been pushed back on Google's list of important products.

  • Brittany Michelle

    I am confused… What does goggle reader power… like will people still be able to follow via feed burner? I am sort of "blog dumb" and was blogging for almost a year before I realized people could even follow me. Like is Google+, Bloglovin' and Feedly the only options?

    • AUBREY @ Project Lovegood

      I recently heard of NetVibes as an option and I'm told it's similar to Reader's interface.

  • Laura

    Yeah. It's only a matter of time to see what Google will do to everything bloggers so dearly love. I hate that they got rid of the minima template a long time ago. I just can't seem to get the hang of designing with the new templates. I feel like they limit my (personally) creativity.

    It won't be too long until they boot GFC. Like it's already been mentioned, it's all about Google+ these days. You'd think Google would have already gotten the hint, but I guess not.

  • Devon

    Hey Dana,
    Thanks for all the information! I'd love to incorporate the "follow on bloglovin'" and "follow on G+" box at the bottom of my posts like you did in this one with G+. Any tips?

  • Nikkiana

    I'm trying to be all zen like about this and take a deep breath and be like, "Here, this is your opportunity to really sort through all of those blogs you follow and don't need to and redo your workflow in this area of your life," but if I'm really honest, I'm having moments of angry fits where I'm all, "WHAT THE F*CK, GOOGLE!? FIRST MY GRANDPA DIES, AND NOW THIS!?"

    Google Reader has been a part of my life since the day that project launched, and it's pretty embedded at the core of my Internet life… so this shakes things up SO much for me. Fingers crossed that's a good thing…

  • Jemma x

    Will it delete blogger blogs or will they still run? xxx

  • Clair Neal

    Hey how did you add the follow me on google plus button? xx

  • nicola

    gahhhhh so it is true!! :'( the worrying thing for me is, im crap when it comes to stuff like this, i find it so confusing, all the different platforms and options mess with my head! :( panic time.

  • Lynn {hearted girl}

    change is inevitable but i am also bummed about Google Reader followed by the potential downfall of GFC. thanks for this article Dana, i signed the petition too. lots of info to read through and learn about new options for connecting – my brain cells are spinning in the wake of a whole new world. eep! kinda thrown but glad to know i'm not alone :)

    wishing you a solid Sunday lades, hope it's been an awesome weekend too!! xo ♥

  • Cody Doll

    I am not sure how GFC is going to go and I don't know about this Google+ stuff. Maybe. I didn't sign the petition though because I am not sure what is going to happen in the end. Guess we will see.


  • Dawn

    I've never read blogs using Google Reader, actually, though I know tons and tons of people who do. It's definitely a loss for those who use it frequently. I'm not sure what to think about BlogLovin'. I have an account, but haven't really spent any time with it. I think their logo is off-putting, haha. It's funny that you mention the friend connect/follow me button. I took it off my blog recently (when I redesigned it), mainly because I didn't want it cluttering my site. I had several people ask where it was, though, so I had to search everywhere to add it back. It was difficult how hard they made it to find. I didn't realize that Google had a plan up their sleeve. Anyway, after saying that, what are you thinking of Google+ so far?

  • Living the Creative Life

    Ugh this is such a pain. I just heard about this today. I use NetNewsWire to read my blogs, but that software is pulling most of my feeds from my Google Reader account. I'll have to go through and manually pull the feed for everyone's blogs, I think. So tedious!

  • Nicole K.

    Ugh. I really miss gfc.. it was so much easier to use too. :( I guess we can't do anything about it though.xx

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