Perhaps for the first time, Google released a new service which I didn’t immediately rush to try out. In the wake of the Reader spring clean, I now have to think about whether or not I can rely on a new Google service being around for the long haul.
I’m not trying to complain about Reader’s demise. Google had every right to close it, and I’m not trying express any sense of entitlement. It took a business decision which, rightly or wrongly, annoyed some (of its most engaged) users. Fortunately there appear to be a number of potential alternatives and I’m already quite enjoying Feedly.
But it has led to a legitimate discussion about whether or not users can trust that the Google services they love and rely on will be kept running into the future. No one can ever guarantee a service’s future in perpetuity, but there should hopefully at least be a reasonable expectation of service continuity in the medium to long term. Perhaps charging customers might actually help to achieve this, although Google seems loath to do so.
Regardless, with the death of Reader a lot of people have started to notice that Google has actually “spring cleaned” quite a few services over the last several years. Given the outcry, it seems a very strange time to launch a high profile new service.
So will I be using Keep? I quite like it for making quick throwaway notes for things like reminders and shopping lists. But for the actual notes that I’ll reference and keep long term, I’ll be sticking with Evernote. Besides being far more functional, I just have more confidence that it’ll be around for longer. And that’s not something I’ve previously had to consider before now.