The biggest question I have right now is whether Google wishes it hadn’t killed Google Reader.
When Google started their social network, they (like Twitter) had Facebook envy. Google Reader was shut down likely because Google wanted it’s own walled garden for advertisers, especially after ad blockers made their ad agency buyouts less effective for tracking. This crushed indie blogging and propped up big polarizing publishers and bots, leading to 2016’s messed up media landscape. It only surprised those who weren’t paying attention (so most of the public).
After dealing with the political fallout from these changes, now Facebook’s strategy has changed again and the walls are closing in, crushing indies who grew up within the walls. Google built AMP as its latest attempt to wall us in, trying to embrace the web again (a web that would’ve been much more vibrant had it not killed Google Reader).
I can’t imagine what the web would be like if Google never killed Google Reader, but I bet the state of independent publishing would be a lot better than it is now.