Digg Reader takes off as free public beta on 26 June, paid service to follow

18 Jun 2013

Image via the Digg Blog

For those of you anxiously counting down the days until Google Reader clocks out for good (that’s 13 sleeps at the time of writing), the good news is that Digg’s replacement will be ready ahead of the Google product’s demise on 26 June.

Google announced three months ago that Reader would retire on 1 July, but services such as iOS app Zite and social news website Digg swooped in to pick up the RSS pieces.

The latter solicited feedback from Google Reader users on what they want and need from an RSS reader and a team of five Digg engineers have been hard at it for the past 90 days, building a new service to meet these demands in time.

That time has come slightly sooner than expected and an update on the Digg Blog revealed that Digg Reader, version 1 will be released as a public beta on 26 June.

Digg Reader, version 1

Image via the Digg Blog

For this initial release, Digg focused on pleasing Google Reader’s power users, as these will be the most affected by its retirement. Digg, version 1 promises a simple, functional and fast web and mobile reading experience with a clean interface that centres on the content of the articles.

There will be a tool to elevate most important stories to the top and support for subscribing, sharing, saving and organising. Most importantly, it will be easy for users to migrate their data from Google Reader over to Digg Reader.

Digg Reader will be a ‘freemium’ product and, while the initial public beta will be free to all, a paid-for release will follow. However, Digg assures users that the features that arrive first to all users in the beta release will remain part of the free experience.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic