As everyone interested in RSS knows by now, Google Reader will completely shut down on July 1. In the wake of the “Readerpocalypse” (as some online are calling this), various alternative services have crept up as possible replacements. (And no, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are not full RSS replacements.)
While I’ve written before about Google Reader replacements, the one I’ve opted to go with (for now) is Feedly. Since the shutdown announcement, Feedly’s become the most popular alternative. The RSS reader service’s advantages include:
- Some desktop RSS readers are using Feedly as a substitution for Reader once it goes under. For instance, OS X’s Reeder application, which I use on my Mac, is switching to Feedly.
- Feedly offers a mode to simplify its interface, making it somewhat resemble Google Reader. While not an exact match, it does offer an alternative to the cluttered Flipboard-style look some other RSS services have. I prefer a simplified interface for RSS purposes.
- Feedly comes with apps for Android and iOS. This makes Feedly convenient to use on my smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Of course, no Reader substitute is perfect. In Feedly’s case, the main long-term concern is its lack of a clear business model. Other RSS substitutes like Newsblur offer a “premium” version for $1 or $2 per month, or carry advertising. It’s not clear what Feedly plans to do to stay viable in the long run, especially with the massive switch to its services. Hopefully the company will hit upon something that’s not a nuisance or expensive.