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Google Software

Google Reader: One Year Later 132

Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Just over a year has passed since Google closed Google Reader; have your reading habits changed? When Google announced in March 2013 that Google Reader would close, a number of pundits saw it as a sign of the imminent death of RSS feeds as redundant tech. But 15 months has gone by and I can't see that very much has changed. Former Google Reader users fled to any number of smaller competitors, including Feedly, which as a result quadrupled its userbase from around 4 million users to around 15 million users and 24,000 paying customers in February 2014. I can't speak for you but I am still getting my news from RSS feeds, just like I did before the Readerpocalypse. Zite might be gone and Pulse might belong to LinkedIn but RSS feeds are still around."
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Google Reader: One Year Later

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  • by Anonymous Coward


  • It saved me so much time. And hassle.
    • InoReader [] did the trick for me. Using it for over the year now. So far - no problems whatsoever.
    • I do too. I've been using CommaFeed and it's actually almost exactly the same, which is nice. It's simple but doesn't feel dumbed down like some of the other ones I tried.
  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @07:17AM (#47387567)

    I still miss it. Surely the data harvesting would have been worth it, for a behemoth like Google to just keep it running.

    I use Feedly, but it's not the same.

    • Feedly's social media integration is better. And I'm sure Google is getting all the deets it wants.
    • by Cico71 ( 603080 )

      Surely the data harvesting would have been worth it, for a behemoth like Google to just keep it running.

      I'm still convinced they want to kill RSS and that was part of the plan.
      They did a good job accelerating the death of Usenet when they bought Dejanews and left the Newsgroups search unusable.

    • by iktos ( 166530 ) *

      Data harvesting only adds value if it can be used to predict something which Google finds useful, what feeds you've got in common with someone else apparently wasn't useful enough in presenting, for example, search results.
      But without Reader, I wouldn't have gotten a Google account. At least not then.

      • The utility of Google to its users is incidental to its commercial incentives, to get information about its users, so if its user base dried up because of a service mishap it will have to learn that it has to give something back in order to get. Now, Google Reader may not be the straw that breaks its back. My understanding is that Google Reader was abandoned in favor of Google+, which is little more than a marketing ploy, no way of doing what RSS is generally for. Now, I thought the design of Reader was qu

        • by dcobra ( 1175747 )
          I have been relying more and more on Google+ as my unified source of news, from friends, family, and the news media and tech sites, in the latter case replacing most of the RSS feeds I used to read. For instance, the BBC's posts on Google+ are as good as their RSS feeds. I also follow /. on Google+, but wish that, as in their RSS feed, posts contained the story summary instead of just the title and link. Nowadays, I only use an RSS reader for the sources that are not yet available on Google+. (So I guess Go
    • Re:It was nice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @02:34PM (#47389263)

      I still miss it. Surely the data harvesting would have been worth it, for a behemoth like Google to just keep it running.

      I use Feedly, but it's not the same.

      The problem was the API let people write clients that removed the value to Google of running the service (i.e. the advertisements).

      Google was willing to give the code over to any third party who wanted to commit to supporting it, and even host it on Google's infrastructure, if they were paid to do so, but there wasn't any way to monetize it, given the API split and the ad stripping by the clients of the API. Apparently stream bookmarking and privacy weren't worth sitting through the ads to anyone, as no one was able to come up with a viable business model that kept the good stuff, but was still able to be monetized enough to at least break even.

      But hey, I'll happily join you to complain about stuff I no longer get free, too, if that will make you feel better, like those game cards you could get at Chick-fil-a in the mall, go down to the Walden Books, look up the answers in the almanac, and then go back to Chick-fil-a for the free food item because you got the right answer, and get the next game card.

    • I don't find that Feedly is very good at updating my feeds. Sometimes days go by before it updates my feeds.
      I've also tried Feeder and that seems to suffer from similar issues.

  • by beamin ( 23709 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @07:18AM (#47387571)

    Still using RSS.

  • by bigdady92 ( 635263 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @07:19AM (#47387575) Homepage
    The death of GReader led me to Feedly which has nearly all of the features that GReader had backed by a company whom RSS isn't an experiment and truly GOT RSS. Feedly saw a need in the market place and filled that void that Google abandoned.

    I am more than happy with Feedly and their feature set. I threw them some money to support them and tell everyone I know to use them as their apps work just as well if not better than what Google was trying to do.
    • by Threni ( 635302 )

      Now if there could just be some change to "how shit works on the internet" so they stop getting taken down by DDOS's, apparently at the whim of script kiddies demanding ransoms.

      But yeah, nothing beats RSS. Google can come up with all funky magazine viewers, along with Flipboard and god knows what else, but only 0.00001% of the internet ever gets on board with that (and those overdone interfaces with shitty functionality - give me a break), and other people can suggest "social...uh..stuff, you know, like tw

    • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

      I'm using Feedly, but the one thing I really miss from Google Reader is a mark-read-up-to-here feature. If you're using the mobile app it works well enough to have it mark read each page of articles as you swipe by them. However, the web-based reader only lets you mark an entire feed read at a time, which makes it hard to catch up on large feeds.

    • Feedly has a great interface, but they had some issues with Craigslist and since then RSS feeds into Feedly from them seemed to suck, only updating occassionally despite the fact they claim their issues have been solved

  • Good combo on Windows Phone and Windows 8 on tablets (on desktops Feedly is enough, sometimes I use Nextgen Reader windowed with Modernmix).
    Haven't missed anything specific from Google Reader and took the opportunity to reduce Google products usage just to search.

  • Following the end of Google reader, I built a custom web based replacement.
    It uses drupal, with the feeds module to import the content, flags to tag it, ans custom views for display.
    Dit works well for me, but as I stopped working on it it lacks essential features so I never opened it to anyone else (for exemple, there is no link to view all articles from a feed. When I need to, I change a 'new' to 'All' un thé URL.)

  • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @07:27AM (#47387605)

    InoReader lets me do all the same things I did with Reader, with the added bonus of not providing Google more user data.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. Inoreader is a great replacement. I first jumped to The Old Reader, but that got overwhelmed and then they stopped taking new subscribers, and inoreader seems to have the required feature set that Google Reader had.

    • InoReader lets me do all the same things I did with Reader, with the added bonus of not providing Google more user data.

      If you're not using noscript or at least ghostery, the joke's on you. InoReader uses Google Analytics.

      • by guidryp ( 702488 )

        I do use Noscript and Google Analytics (in my NS untrusted list) seems to be on most pages on the net.

        I doubt running GA on a page gives Google the same level of information that they would have captured using Google Reader.

        • I do use Noscript and Google Analytics (in my NS untrusted list) seems to be on most pages on the net.


          I doubt running GA on a page gives Google the same level of information that they would have captured using Google Reader.

          What do you think they were capturing there? I'd imagine it to be pretty much the same information. They just want to know what you're reading.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by zennling ( 950572 )
      this. inoreader is a nice no frills replacement. i dont care about social integration - i just want my rss feed in an easily readible format.
  • by demon driver ( 1046738 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @07:38AM (#47387617) Journal

    Never used Google Reader in the first place. At home, I've always been using a combination of other options to read feeds, mainly a self-written feed gatherer, and at work, where I used the now equally deceased iGoogle, I've simply switched to

  • by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @07:49AM (#47387639)

    Google Reader was merely the most popular 'client' app - its disappearance wouldn't spell the doom of feeds (RSS/atom/whatever), and here's why: practically all the major publishing apps have RSS functionality built-in.
    Do you use Wordpress? You probably have an RSS feed whether you're aware of it or not.
    Using phpBB? You probably have an RSS feed.
    Started a subreddit? It comes with a bunch of feeds.

    Now try to get an RSS feed for, say, [] .
    Or how about an RSS feed for [] ?

    facebook still offers an RSS for timelines, but you'll have to get it first as it's keyed.
    twitter doesn't offer an RSS at all, you'll just have to use the APIs (and you'll need to authenticate even if you only want public read access, so you'll have to register, too). And don't think about trying to offer an API-to-RSS bridge, Twitter doesn't take kindly to such awesomeness; []

    These 'social media' platforms of course want you to stay inside their boundaries. If you want to know what @Whoever is up to, you'll just have to view twitter or, better yet, 'Follow' that user and make sure you've got yourself logged in on as many devices as possible preferably with the official twitter apps.

    So what happens when a company no longer regularly posts their news or blog posts via their regular content delivery, and instead takes to twitter / facebook? The feed dies out. Sure, it's still there, and maybe once in a blue moon some new content does pop up on there.. but for that same content and everything else you'd be interested in, you'll just have to check them out on facebook and/or twitter.

    It's only when companies start realizing this shift - and, again, they might not even be fully aware that they're offering a feed in the first place - that they might try shutting it down for fear of not reaching the right viewership (in the way they want, including the possibility of deleting a post that they later regret).

    At least feeds will remain as the premiere way to deliver podcasts (hacked on as they are) ... until some sort of social podcasting platform emerges as the de facto standard and requires you to use their website/proprietary apps.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      In addition to Twitter not having/allowing RSS feeds of their streams, up until about a year ago, they actually offered their own RSS feeds. Then they decided to stop offering them. I thought I had read that there's some workaround if you have a Twitter account, but I never got around to signing up for a Twitter account, so instead I just don't read Twitter very often anymore. Although, it occurs to me that my RSS reader ( Liferea []) has an option for running a website through a local program before attempting
  • For me, RSS is the stuff to justify playing around with fancy desktop gadjets and mobile apps.Setting up the perfect desktop/homescreen with INFORMATION everywhere. So efficient!
    Then never to be used, or read afterwards.

  • Tiny Tiny RSS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @07:58AM (#47387657) Homepage
    Switched to Tiny Tiny RSS []. Hosting it on a shared hosting (Dreamhost) which I was paying for anyway. It works great, and its nice having a solution that won't just disappear one day. Sure my web host could disappear, but I could always switch to another one.
    • Yup, Tiny Tiny RSS on my shared BlueHost account, with some mobile reader plugin I can't remember the name of (it looks mostly like mobile Google Reader looked).

    • Re:Tiny Tiny RSS (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mousit ( 646085 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @11:23AM (#47388343)
      I did the same, TT-RSS on Dreamhost. I wanted something that could be used from any web browser, rather than needing an app, and didn't require external authentication. Basically, self-contained, the way Reader was. Feedly and the like just didn't meet those needs.

      TT-RSS is so simple; most anyone comfortable enough to do self-hosting can set it up I'd think. Only issues I ever had compared to Reader were, at the beginning, it'd sometimes get temporarily banned on certain RSS feeds for excessive queries (probably numerous users all set up on DH so it was seeing that, as I only query once every four hours). Ironically this happened almost exclusively on Feedburner links (which Slashdot uses), which is owned by Google, so it sometimes felt like Google was really trying to kill RSS. :P That went away after a short time though, probably as Feedburner marked Dreamhost IPs as shared hosting and exempted from the query limits.

      Also occasionally Dreamhost's database server can be rather slow (making the whole application slow), but that doesn't happen very often. And you sort of expect it with cheap shared hosting, anyway.

      It certainly works plenty well enough, and since I already had the DH account for other purposes, adding TT-RSS was effectively free.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kbahey ( 102895 )

      Another Tiny Tiny RSS user here. I run it on the home server, and never looked back.

    • Tiny Tiny RSS running on a Rapsberry Pi.

    • And when I've read my feeds, there's always the TTRSS forum to cheer me up: []

      They do not suffer fools gladly!

  • Another Feedly user (Score:5, Informative)

    by Geeky ( 90998 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @07:58AM (#47387659)

    I'm happy with the way it works, for the most part. Bit of a shame it has to use external authentication, but I use a secondary account for that anyway. The fact that some features are pay to use is a bit irritating, and I haven't yet decided whether they're worth it. I am willing to pay for services that provide value for me - they're a business, and I understand their need to make money to provide the service - but there isn't much compelling in the pro feature set for me. Possibly Evernote integration, but it's not that much hassle to click through to the website and clip it from there.

    Bottom line, though, is that it's better to be a paying customer - at least you know the business has a vested interest in the product. Same with Evernote vs. free options. They make their money from users who get value from their products.

    I was also reasonably impressed with Feedly's transparency over the recent DDOS attacks they (and Evernote) suffered.

    • Bottom line, though, is that it's better to be a paying customer - at least you know the business has a vested interest in the product. Same with Evernote vs. free options. They make their money from users who get value from their products.

      +1 truth. it goes back to the old saying, if you're not the customer then you're the product. even though i'm a feedly free user, the fact that they offer a paid option means they are continuously investing in their platform, both in features and in stability, and they see some long-term value from continuing. same for pandora, nytimes, hbogo, amazon prime, netflix, iTunes, evernote, others.

  • I don't have the time to go to every news page and look through if something new and important was written. So I still use RSS. I want the information come to me, not to chase it.

    My project is in a really early state (no customer - problem fit) as I haven't had the time to invest lately. Feel free to drop me a mail ( If you want to get updates or want to help me find out what current "problems" with readers and information acquiring in general you have. :) *sorry for slashvertising*

  • This Firefox add-on continues to work just fine for me, and I'm practically unaffected if someone tries to kill it. It has three panes so it looks like a mail client, which is a simple and straightforward way of navigating and reading the bulk of RSS content.
    • NewsFox was my absolute favorite! Then I moved away from FireFox to Chrome, and there was nothing nearly as good as NewFox.

      The nice thing about moving to Chrome was forcing myself to use Google Reader. At first I rather hated Google Reader, but with a Chrome extension and some themes, I got it to finally work more or less like NewsFox.

      These days I'm using Tiny Tiny RSS.

  • I never really trust companies with my daily needs. The dependency is stressful and unpractical, so I try to avoid it whenever possible.

    For feeds I use Tiny Tiny RSS [] these days, hosted on a VPS with some other daily stuff (mail, calendar, notes). The application is a lot slicker than the website would suggest. I highly recommend it.

    Since RSS seems to take a back seat in modern web development (FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!), I also do some screen scraping in PHP [] to create my own feeds for sites that don't (properly

    • I never really trust companies with my daily needs. The dependency is stressful and unpractical, so I try to avoid it whenever possible.

      dude, you're a real stress ball if the uncertainty from an RSS feed can push you over the top. get a massage!

      • About a quarter of my income comes from trading stock and art. For this I often need to be in front of the line to get good deals. RSS feeds make this possible. This is also why I went through the effort to hack together some screen scrapers. RSS feeds are used by many as a professional tool. Day traders, eBay users, journalists...all sorts of people who need some sort of scoop in order to make money.

  • The Old Reader (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jrq ( 119773 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @08:09AM (#47387685)
    The Old Reader ( []) works pretty well for me. Not quite as sophisticated or instantly speedy as Google was, and it can take a few more minutes to be up-to-date, but free and you can import your feeds, which you had already exported from Google Reader, right?
    • by Threni ( 635302 )

      That has a limit on the number of feeds (or "subscriptions" as it quaintly refers to them) you can use on the free version, though.

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Saturday July 05, 2014 @08:14AM (#47387693) Journal

    I went to g2reader and didn't miss a beat.

  • Swapped to Feedly and kept going as before.

  • ownCloud (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hgriggs ( 33207 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @08:57AM (#47387845) Homepage

    I made a smooth and easy transition from Google Reader to Feedly, and that worked well. It's a very efficient way of getting through my news and blogs. Then I discovered that ownCloud ( has a built in RSS feeder. I use ownCloud on my Linode to provide a Dropbox like environment, plus my own Calendar and Contacts for my iPhone and iPad, plus bookmarks. I am currently working on replacing Evernote with ownCloud.

    I already had a cloud installation with Linode, and I just added ownCloud to it. Then I started discovering all the extra stuff it can do. The RSS Feeder was a wonderful discovery. I lose the economy of scale that Feedly provides, but it works more closely to my mental model, and some of the formatting is nicer than Feedly. I've been using it for several months now, and totally love it. It's not for everyone, given the requirements (you have to set up your own webserver, then set up the ownCloud services), but the benefits are enormous. And I get a little more privacy, just me and Linode and the NSA.

  • The thing that was seriously useful was Google Listen that took podcasts from Reader. I have found nothing that does podcasts as well as Listen did.
    I currently use Pocket Casts and it is adequate.

    I tried Feedly but found it very demanding. If I left it, I would be told about the number of new things and it was just too much hassle. I will probably go back from time to time and clear the huge amount of "new" items and see how it goes for a while.

    Dropping Reader was not a great thing for us "users" out he

    • FWIW I moved to Feedly / Beyondpod from Reader / Listen. Beyondpod can import feeds from Feedly too. It's not quite as seamless as Reader/Listen but it works out pretty well. I don't add new feeds terribly often though.

  • by toole ( 325775 )

    I learned my lesson and realized I had to roll my own so I am now using fever and it works just fine. I also realized it was rather foolish to trust google for any services they provide and have begun the tedious process of divesting / replacing [ google voice was the among the first to go ].

  • I thought I would miss Google Reader, but NewsBlur (see []) has been a great replacement, and has actually improved my workflow.
    • by mcubed ( 556032 )

      Same here. NewsBlur works well for me and has improved in the year since I made the switch. I even subscribed, not so much to get the extra features as to support the developer/development.

      I've read articles here and there saying that the death of Google Reader had an impact on the blogosphere and I'm sure it must have, but I can't say that it has had any impact on the feeds I subscribe to. Almost all of them as as active as they ever were. I don't know if this is quite the right approach, but I tend to vie

  • Never user Google reader, but I had pretty big iGoogle homepage set up with ~12 RSS feeds.
    Swapped to and never looked back.

  • by ppz003 ( 797487 ) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @09:54AM (#47388009) Homepage

    GReader shutting down is what lead me to try out Tiny Tiny RSS [].

    If you are already running a webserver for something else, it is pretty easy to set up your own personal RSS reader.

  • Netvibes has been a nice drop-in replacement for me.

  • I've been mostly pleased with Feedly and I even pay them the $5 per month that I and thousands of other's offered to pay Google to keep Reader alive. My motivation is split between an appreciation for a smooth migration of my feeds and decent product and, honestly, partly out of spite that Google would not take my money. Assuming the 24K number is correct and all of those users are on the same plan (do they have more than one plan?), that represents nearly $1.5 million dollars per year, if my math is corre
  • I know some PHP so I wrote a reader that lives on my own server. It's very simple but it does exactly what I want it to. It has a problem with character encodings -- lots of things (curly quotes, em- and en-dashes) come in as '?'s -- but other than that, it's fine. Works for me.

  • Article titles without the crap. I use Bazqux with Feedler on ios. Works great, however feature development seems a little stale. Couldn't completely import my Google takeout, specifically starred articles. There was a fix said to be coming, so I subscribed $$ but it never did.

  • While everybody else is busy missing the point and showing off their favourite alternatives (I'm happy with Feedly BTW), there's a different data point I took out of TFS:

    15 million users and 24,000 paying customers

    That section alone is what interests me: the ratio of paying customers to total users. That's because I'm green enough in the field of business that I have no clue at all about these things, not even as anecdotes.

    I don't usually read BI (because my perception of them is that they're BS, even thou

  • I originally went to Netvibes, which tries to offer RSS as some sort of secondary service to some business analytics aggregation or something (I never fully understood.) But sometime around the beginning of the year they did a moderate layout change and then completely ignored the vast number of user complaints (a help thread, with almost 200 comments when most had 3, was marked "completed" with no change or solid comment from staff). It introduced a ton of useless whitespace and, most importantly for me, b

  • My news reading habits are exactly the same as they used to be, but the recent feedly improvements have smoothed out the experience for me. While it wasn't as good as google reader when I first made the switch, there were a ton of improvements that have made it better than google reader was for my purposes.
  • I manually got my news by actually looking at sites before. The death of Google Reader and subsequent shilling by competitors made me decide on using Feedly, and since then I can't live without an RSS feed.
  • 1) I took all the feeds (>4000) out of google reader, and bookmarked them
    2) Since then I've been slowly merging my bookmarks into a sqlite database, which I then pull from daily.
    It's possible that feedly or some other online service might be able to help me...but after Reader shut down I've become pretty paranoid about using online services for those sorts of things; I'd rather have something that runs local(and my computer for the past year has not been capable of running pretty much anything else...
  • Blogtrottr []

    -Email is accessible on all my devices, don't need to install yet another app and don't have to worry about compatibility issues because email is already everywhere.
    -They do real-time feeds, which allows me to get get service outage notifications that are only available via RSS to the work pager address *cough* salesforce*cough*
    -I can give different sites different priorities. Some sites I read every day, others I only want to check once a week.
    Most readers are purely chro

  • The only thing that's changed is that I've made a point of getting away from free services and moving over to for-pay services with revenue streams that I understand, since I know they won't disappear in a year or two when they fail to successfully monetize their users or decide it's not worth it any more. Plus, I know how they're monetizing me: I'm putting cash directly into their pockets, without any of the funny business involving targeted ads, opting me in to stuff against my wishes, or selling my data

  • Google Reader was the only reason to be logged in to Google on my normal browser (like a lot of people, I use a separate browser for Gmail, Facebook, and the other companies that exist to track your browsing habits) Now I use tt-rss, and Google have no idea which links I click any more.
  • While some might run away in horror at the mention of the name AOL Reader, which has been around for a while now.. is pretty great.

    It was recently updated and the ad bar was removed, the software is much quicker and with the fact it is not an independent business project like Feedly, or Inoreader.. there is no upselling!

    I tried feedly, it was pushing the upsell too hard and the product didn't feel very useful in its 'free' state... ( [] )

    I tried Inoreader and its free product was much bette

  • Newsblur has been more than fine for my RSS feeds. Fast, non-douche based (meaning he’s not going to mine the info and sell it) ownerlove it.

  • I just gave up, and read the following things
        email /.
        doc searls web log

    and that's it. The internet was nice while it lasted.

  • Damn, time flies. When they took it down, I was really pissed. I tried other readers, but eventually realized reddit was a better option. I just subscribe to subreddits that might carry the content I want instead of to the feeds directly, this means news from the all the sources I want are aggregated, but by users that filter the content for me. Much better experience.

  • Shortly after the death of Google Reader I made the switch to []feedbin, which while it was a paid service was just as speedy almost all the features.

    While it was a shame that GReader shut-down, the RSS scene is definitely more competitive and far healthier than what it was while GReader was around.
  • Does anyone have a clue what happened to it?
  • As long as newsticker.el is part of Emacs, who needs a web reader? Just ssh into your favorite machine, run Emacs, and M-x newsticker-show-news

  • RSS is so much bigger then one stupid feed aggregator. To strat with there has to be dozens and dozens of aggregators. Secondly I am a huge user of RSS and I have never used a feed aggregator. Almost every website I make pulls in some content via RSS and/or makes its content available via RSS. My podcatcher uses RSS and I subscribe to feeds manually that I know already know about. I reject with prejudice the very idea that one aggregator going away would have any impact at all on RSS usage.
  • I went and found a reader that did everything google reader did, with a similar UI - boringly named "the old reader", as in "bring back the old Reader!" (I tried a few that advertised that's what they were going for - theoldreader got it the most right at the time), ported all my stuff to it, and have since completely forgotten about Google's fail in that area.

  • Let's not forget two other nice news aggregators. There's the venerable Flipboard, and a newcomer called Circa. Flipboard draws from all internet news sources including RSS.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.