Google Says Removing 'Reader' Link In Gmail Was A Mistake, Aims To Bring It Back Today

Hmm … Maybe RSS isn’t dead after all? After the replacement of the Google Reader link in Gmail with a link to Google Photos caused a user revolt on Friday, Google has vowed to bring the beloved RSS product back and tells TechCrunch its removal was accidental.

And while Google is uncertain as to exactly when the highly dramaticized link will be back, the Gmail team is working hard on a fix and is targeting Monday morning, according to representative Victoria Katsarou.

So why remove the link in the first place? Google decides what links appear in the Gmail navigation bar based on popularity, i.e. page views, number of users and clicks from the bar. New products needing promotion are also considered. According to Katsarou, Google Photos (Picasa) had made the cut and was to join Reader in elite navigation bar status, with a fifth top level link added to the bar. Apparently someone somewhere made an error and the Reader link was dropped into the “More” menu instead.

The official Google Reader Twitter account tweeted about the mistake on Friday, but that hasn’t stopped people from emailing us about how upset they are about the change. Reader fan Craig Cosmo went as far as integrating the link back, in his Better Gmail browser extension.

So for those of you who can’t wait until the Google fix, you can get your precious Reader link back into Gmail here. You’re welcome.

Update: It’s back!