Feedly Pro, which had been pre-launched 3 weeks back, lets users pay a $5 a month (or $45 a year) subscription and gain access to features that aren't offered with Feedly's free service (which isn't going away, don't worry).
Feedly has said that the paying customers will also be the first to get any of the new features added in the future, but for now they are pitching the service based on:
- article search,
- premium tech support,
- Evernote and Pocket integration, and
- https support.
Feedly didn't have integration with the note-taking service Evernote or with Pocket, nor did it have the ability to search articles in your own feeds, so there was something of a stir when Feedly Pro was pre-launched 3 weeks ago. Feedly was only offering 5,000 lifetime subscriptions (at $99 a pop) to entice the early adopters, and that sold out in 8 hours.
Given that I am getting all of those features for a much lower fee I'm not sure it's worth the cost.
My preferred news reader, BazQux, already offered all of the features found in Feedly Pro long before Feedly Pro was announced. This service only costs $9 a year, though you can pay more (I am).
When Feedly Pro was initially revealed earlier this month I was a little disappointed that Feedly didn't prove they deserved the title of Google Reader heir apparent. In fact, I went and double checked all of the Feedly Pro features against BazQux:
- Article search? Got that.
- Pocket and Evernote integration? Got that, and then some.
- Timely tech support? Got that (I bug the developer of BazQux on Twitter).
- Https support? Don't need the greater security but I got it.
- Reading apps? Got that.
Okay, that last isn't a feature exclusive to Feedly Pro, but it is still relatively uncommon among news services so it was worth noting.
Feedly is widely regarded as the most successful of the Google Reader replacements, but now I am not so sure that is a good thing from the user's perspective. Feedly is charging for features that other services are giving away (or at least asking for a lower fee), so from a user's perspective it might make sense to switch to one of Feedly's smaller competitors. They'll have less overhead and thus are more likely to stay free versus charging for their service.
But if you don't want to switch, you could simply wait for a bit and see if more of the Pro features filter down to the free service. Feedly also announced today that they have updated the free Feedly service to include Pocket and https support, thus removing a couple of the reasons for paying for Feedly.