Ronny Lam

about://tech

Google Reader Is Dead, Long Live RSS

A year ago I asked myself if RSS was dying. But today I still depend on RSS, so in hindsight the answer must have been NO. I have been using Google Reader since 2007 or 2008 and until last year I have been using only the website, until I found the Reeder App for IOS. I moved primarily from the Reader website to the Reeder App, with Google Reader as the backend.

Last year, with the introduction of Google+ and the new Google interface design, Google Reader changed. The interface changed like the rest of the family and +1 got introduced to Reader. Some say that this was the beginning of the end. The real end, because internally Reader was doomed since the start in 2005.

Google Reader changed the market that’s for sure, but it is questionable if this is a positive thing. Because Google basically killed the market for other RSS-clients. Only a couple remained and since the introduction of tablets we saw also an introduction of new RSS-clients, with Google Reader as the backend. Sunsetting Google will put a lot of those clients in problems, so we can easily say that Google is killing the RSS-market again.

But this is not entirely fair. Because there are online clients that do not depend on Google Reader. Two oldies that will be revitalized are Bloglines and Netvibes. Two fairly new ones are Feedly and Newsblur.

Feedly is the one I moved to today. I didn’t like it when it got introduced last year. But the UI and UX have been improved a lot. Feedly still uses Google Reader as the backend but they say in their blog that there will be a smooth migration in June to their new backend.

I will definitely test Newsblur as well, but I think within the upcoming months these Readers won’t be the only ones anymore. New Readers will come and some of them will be a big improvement to what we have now. Google Reader is dead, RSS is alive, and that may or may not be thanks to Google Reader.