As Google kills off Reader, other services swoop in to pick up the RSS pieces

15 Mar 2013

If you’re a Google Reader user who has had their nose put out of joint by yesterday’s news, never fear, as Digg and Zite are stepping in to pick up where the popular RSS reader leaves off.

Google will retire Google Reader on 1 July after a process of ‘spring cleaning’, which basically means dropping products and services it no longer deems viable. Until then, users can export their data and subscriptions using Google Takeout in order to import to other services.

Services users might now consider switching to include a solution built by Zite. Zite’s iOS app delivers online articles that match users’ personal interests. Google Reader accounts could be linked to the app, along with others, in order for the service to gauge these interests.

However, with Google Reader clocking out, Zite doesn’t want its users to suddenly lose this integration and so it created a replacement, it claims, in just six hours. A new section called ‘Google Reader Feeds’ will allow users to maintain a connection to their current Google Reader subscriptions.

The fix has its limitations, the most critical being that Zite does not currently index every single RSS feed. However, Zite has at least tried to fill the gap opened up by Google Reader and in super-fast time, too.

Can we Digg it?

Another service hurrying to fix the problem caused by the demise of Google Reader is social news website Digg. Apparently, a Digg reader was already planned for the second half of this year, and the project has now been moved to the top of its priority list now that Google Reader is bowing out.

“We hope to identify and rebuild the best of Google Reader’s features (including its API), but also advance them to fit the internet of 2013, where networks and communities like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and Hacker News offer powerful but often overwhelming signals as to what’s interesting,” writes Andrew McLaughlin on the Digg Blog.

In order to kick this ambitious project into gear, McLaughlin calls on users to let the team at Digg know what they want from a reader. They’ll need this valuable input, with just 107 days to go until Google Reader is no more.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.