Goodbye Google Reader     

Google services menuGoogle products pageGoogle Reader, available to the public since 2005, is one of the more popular, free RSS readers. Even so, there was still talk that Google Reader might be going away due to lack of usage and payoff. Google Reader was taken off the Google drop down menu for Google Services from March 19-20. With Google Reader’s complete departure on July 1, 2013, many are wondering if Google plans to launch a new option to take its place. In the meantime, web users have to seek other alternatives.


RSS Reader Alternatives

There are several RSS reader alternatives. Some familiar ones include: MySyndicaat, Superfeedr, Netvibes, Collected, Skimr, Sharpreader, The Old Reader, and NewsBlur.

The above list represents some of the “most used” readers, which may help users filter through the many choices. There are many RSS readers with similar features, but my top five recommendations are:

  1. MyAlltop
    • Allows user to bookmark sites/blogs as found on the web
    • Can view a few updates at a time from each site/blog added on a personalized page

  2. Bloglines
    • Simple to import/export subscriptions
    • Easy to create a blog roll
    • Integrates with your Yahoo account and new Google desktop
    • Many sites/blogs have it listed as an option to subscribe to without having to go to the reader directly

  3. Feedly
    • Pulls from both Google Reader and Twitter feeds
    • Magazine-style layout
    • Option for a “cards viewif like more visual design
    • Can “star” items or save them for later
    • Integration with Buffer and

  4. Fever
    • Extremely customizable, able to organize folders and list by how “hot” an item is
    • $30 one-time fee
    • Must run on own server or hosting account

  5. Reeder
    • Syncs with Google Calendar
    • Integration with services like Read It Later and Instapaper
    • Can “star” items or save them for later
    • Can save items to social bookmarking services like Pinboard and Evernote

Stand-Alone or Web-Based

There are two types of feed readers to choose from:

1. Stand-alone clients allow access to feeds even when offline.

2. Web-based services require access to feeds only when online, but have features like feed search and feed integration with other sources.

Third Party Apps

With the termination of Google Reader, many third party apps will have to decide whether they can survive without Google’s content.

Some of these third party apps include:

Additionally, web users seem excited about Digg coming out with their own reader. This is a smart idea for expanding their services, considering Digg is a social bookmarking site.

News Consumption Alternatives

Reader alternative - pulse

RSS readers allow users to choose what specific sites/blogs from which to receive feeds.  A casual news reader or one interested in new sites/blogs to follow, may want to use other non-traditional news aggregators that feed trending topics (rather than topics of choice) or a wider variety of news to browse. The alternatives here may be preferred:

Moving Forward

Local splash on twitter

Some may argue that with social network sites like Twitter, one can see a live news trends easily without having to sign up for feed subscriptions. With the elimination of Google Reader, many wonder if RSS may disappear completely.

For those who still want to use an RSS reader, export your feed subscriptions using Google’s Takeout service. One can upload the subscriptions in the OPML export file to a new reader without having to start from scratch adding subscriptions.