back to article Google Groups kills RSS support without notice

Google has either turned off RSS support in Google Groups without telling anyone, or has failed to notice that RSS in Groups no longer functions. RSS, which stands for either RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, is an open content syndication protocol. It allows people to subscribe to feeds from websites and receive …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RSS isn't dead.

    Given I learned of this story via an RSS in my email client's news folder, it's obvious RSS isn't dead yet. Just because Google is trying to out-do Microsoft in the "offer then yank $Feature" catagory doesn't mean the rest of the web has also joined in the swirl down the bog hole.

    1. eldel

      Re: RSS isn't dead.

      It is, however, yet another reminder (as if any were needed by now) that relying on a free service, especially from Google*, is simply a way to fail at some point yet to be determined.

      *Yes - I know gmail, chrome and maps aren't going away. Android either. I seriously wouldn't bet on anything else though.

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: RSS isn't dead.

        Gmail, chrome, and maps haven't 'gone away', but Google has repeatedly changed and removed functionality on them to the point that maps and gmail are considerably less useful than they used to be.

        Attachment support removed years ago from Gmail. Maps now for me insists on taking me via motorways when in the past it offered non motorway routes for part of the journey, that I preferred .

        1. find users who cut cat tail

          Re: RSS isn't dead.

          For driving Maps are at least basically usable. Have you tried to plan a trek through forests and hills… I mean the immense grey void?

          Google Maps can disappear any time – and good riddance.

        2. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: RSS isn't dead.

          @BinkyTheMagicPaperclip I have never used Gmail so have no idea what it supports. But seriously it does not support attachments, WOW.

          1. Robert Grant

            Re: RSS isn't dead.

            It definitely does support attachments.

            1. Falmari Silver badge

              Re: RSS isn't dead.

              @Robert Grant +1 Cheers for the info

        3. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: RSS isn't dead.

          You sure that was Gmail? I just logged into the web interface and opened a new compose window. The attachment icon was like the third from the left.

          Also, just FYI, there is an option in Google Maps to avoid highways (the American version of motorway). It's kind of buried so I don't blame you for missing it, but it is there unless there's some drastic difference between the US and UK versions of the app.

        4. quxinot

          Re: RSS isn't dead.

          Hangouts, as well. What used to be a nice, usable XMPP with various clients is getting shuttled into 'Chat' which has an interface so bad that it's baffling to understand how it made it through a whole team of developers without someone questioning it.

          1. Agamemnon

            Re: RSS isn't dead.

            I'm rather grumpy about them leaving XMPP since I had my own XMPP server with a wonderful bridge that allowed it to talk to both GChat and Facebook's (before Facebook became toxic and unusable).

            And I could stack OTR on top of it completely disallowing content-based advertising on my chats.

            Loved it.

        5. Michael Habel

          Re: RSS isn't dead.

          I'm still realing from the loss of Google Play Music, and the actual Music Store. I will NOT be puttung forward One Red cent, into propagating this owning nothing, and beeing happy scheme, that is inherrently a zillion times worse that the Free Product used to be.

      2. entfe001

        Re: RSS isn't dead.

        Gmail might not go away, but i *do* hope that neither does IMAP/POP3 support (however broken it might be at times), but I'm quite aware that this day will definitely come someday.

        It's been years since I last logged in using a browser. The day I'm forced to, it will definitely be the last.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: RSS isn't dead.

      Yep I noticed and read this story using sRSS Android App reader. Very handy to get sources from all different places in a single client. Without ads. So can understand why at lot of companies don't like or offer RSS any more unfortunately.

    3. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: RSS isn't dead.

      And I got this story using Tickr, which shows me continuous rolling headlines for The Register, BBC News, and Sailing, Rugby and Motor Racing news. I also use RSS to feed me daily summary emails from other sites which I don't bother to track in real-time.

      I suppose I shouldn't mention this because now ElReg know that if they want to get rid of me all they need to do is yank the RSS feed!

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: RSS isn't dead.

      It's not quite the same though is it? RSS for mailing lists, which is essentially what this, has almost always been redundant: you could simply subscribe to the mailing list and rely on your MUA to provide the filtering. For websites it's just a simple way of avoiding having to provide a push service.

      My guess is that Google decided they could do without whatever is generating the XML and so have less to maintain, especially if they have any kind of clients.

      XML is still expensive to parse so it wouldn't surprise me if something based on JSON gets proposed to replace it for these kind of things.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: RSS isn't dead.

        Because it works the other way around, RSS is very different from providing a mailing list.

        1. The receiver decides the frequency. I update some feeds every couple of minutes to get a scrolling headline view. Others I check once a day or less.

        2. The site doesn't have the hassle of dealing with mailing lists. Particularly the issue of your list being declared as spam by some receiving site or other every day, and even your sending mail server appearing on blocking lists.

        The small effort of generating the necessary XML is tiny (and completely automated) compared with, particularly, the hassle of maintaining a mailing lists.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: RSS isn't dead.

          Yes, but if Google is already providing the mailing list, why should it also provide RSS for it.

          BTW. you should probably also be aware that, if you don't cache your RSS feeds, you can easily feel the load of millions of subscribers polling for updates.

    5. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: RSS isn't dead.

      "Just because Google is trying to out-do Microsoft in the "offer then yank $Feature" catagory"

      Google is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of Microsoft in that category. Not even in the same league. Never built products or process around Google technology. Even as a paying customer of Google.

  2. Phil Kingston

    |Google is trying to out-do Microsoft in the "offer then yank $Feature" catagory

    Dude, Google is so far ahead of Microsoft in that category they're not even in the same league. Never fall in love with *any* offering from Google, it'll be shuttered just as soon as you're really comfortable with it.

    1. Jamesit

      "Dude, Google is so far ahead of Microsoft in that category they're not even in the same league."

      Yup, check the Google graveyard at

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        At Jamesit re: killed by Google.

        That site only lists 240 such events. MS has more than that just during the lifespan of Win10 alone. *Feisty raspberry* 8D

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Migration plan already fully tested

    I migrated off Google services, including e-mail, several years ago and then returned during the brief time I ran a Chromebook. Google is indeed the king of disappearing services in all sectors, but also among the easiest to migrate off. Google Takeout is pretty damn decent, and nearly unmatched by other prominent vendors (cough.. cough... Microsoft). Still, the plan (and my scripts) are still at hand should I need to move once again. The only thing that I'd truly be sad to lose is Google Fiber though, but even without that life would go on.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Embrace, Extend


  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    " If Google mentioned its plan to drop RSS from Groups at the time, it did so very quietly."

    It must have been one of those water-cooler conversations people keep going on about.

  6. petef

    Google News

    Despite using RSS for many years I will not miss Google Groups. I rarely use that directly but it remains the prime source of spam into mailing lists that I read using RSS via gmane.

    I do however have a couple of RSS feeds from Google News searches. I wonder how long those will survive?

  7. teebie

    "The Register asked Google to comment and we've not heard back."

    Google have discontinued the Reply To A Journalist's Questions service.

    1. Michael Habel

      The Pandemic has wercked havic to all corners of the workforce.

  8. Barry Rueger

    My solution!

    I've moved ALL of my communications into WhatsApp!

    Seriously, I've been burned enough times to move everything possible away from Google. And dear god will someone convince editors that Google Docs is absolutely the worst choice for anything?

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: My solution!

      > And dear god will someone convince editors that Google Docs is absolutely the worst choice for anything?

      I'm astonished anyone would prefer it to Word in a browser.

  9. G2

    article quotes taxes = so long RSS ...

    since Google killed earlier this year the possibility to embed a group in an IFRAME on other sites, for me RSS becoming unavailable is not a big surprise either.

    Also, since some countries start to get crazy about applying taxes for every article quote or piece of news ... killing RSS feeds it's probably another logical measure taken to make publisher's lives more difficult?

    Feeds from other sites into Google News / search snippets will most likely become the next victim scheduled to be eliminated.

    let me rephrase that... it's probably another measure taken to satisfy beancounters. (yeah, definitely :p). Articles and/or content reuse can now be easier accounted manually, since it's no longer automated via RSS. :) (*grin*)

  10. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff
    Big Brother

    Expect to See a Proprietary Successor that Spies on You

    That's how Google rolls.

  11. DrSunshine0104

    The Buck Stopped There

    They can't easily deliver an add or do analytics. That is why.

  12. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    Google together with other big corporations achieved regulatory capture.

    10 years ago if someone was not happy, they could start their own service. Today it's pretty much financial suicide as it is impossible to keep up with all the regulations for an individual. Soon you'll get mandatory content filters, 1hr SLA on government requests to delete content and so on.

    Google can slowly turn down money losing features without fear of someone creating a competition in their basement.

    Well done.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a response from Errnestine@googlesupport posted here:

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the pace of the race to turn as much of the Internet as possible into proprietary pieces seem to be picking up.

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