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Six alternatives to Google Reader

March 18, 2013
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[update, 5/10/13 – I’m replacing Google Reader with Feedly]

800 pound gorillaThe 800-pound gorilla Google announced last Wednesday that Google Reader, their service for following blogs and other kinds of RSS feeds, will disappear on July 1, 2013. The stated reasons are that usage has declined and the company wants to put its energy into fewer products. Translation: “we’re not making any money on it and RSS is not as sexy as Goggles.”

Many services are offering themselves as replacements and providing directions for changing over. The chart below lists six of the commonly mentioned alternatives. A checked mobile platform indicates that an app is available (web-only titles should also work in a mobile device browser). Click the link under “Migrate” to learn how to convert your Google Reader data.

Web iOS Android Kindle Migrate Cost
Feedly Plugins Yes Free
NewsBlur Yes $24/yr
Taptu NA Free
NetVibes Yes Free
The Old Reader Yes Free
FlipBoard Yes Free

The oddly named “Data Liberation Front” provides a utility called Google Takeout that will export your Reader data (subscriptions, subscribers, likes, favorites, etc.). I found it to be very straightforward.

Some of the alternative services were experiencing overloads last week as anxious users began to flock away from Google Reader. When I uploaded the subscription list I got from Google Takeout to The Old Reader, it told me 29,000 people ahead of me…. Be patient while everyone gears up.

Many people follow this blog through Google Reader. If you are one of them, we will do our best to contact you and provide alternative subscription choices over the coming months. I will also be exploring alternative reader services for personal use – and sharing what I learn here.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jey permalink
    March 19, 2013 4:15 am

    Thanks for the table! Have you tried Yanobs Reader it is free but does not appear in your list!

  2. Chris Clark permalink*
    March 18, 2013 10:21 am

    I don’t know about badges, but you can certainly get email notification. It’s too early to know what options will be available on July 1. I think people were caught off guard by this announcement. As of this morning, I am still 25,000-plus on the queue at The Old Reader.

  3. Lou permalink
    March 18, 2013 8:49 am

    Thanks, Chris! I do indeed follow this blog through Reader; it’s nice that Reader gives me a notice badge in my Chrome toolbar. Do you know if any of these alternatives have good push notifications?


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