Late last night Feedlywith the news that they had switched from letting users log in with their Google account to requiring that users log in with a Google+ account.
Google has been slowly transitioning from Google OAuth to Google+ as their unifying identity system. This transition opens the door to interesting opportunities like simpler login across devices – and a lot more.
We are following on Google’s lead and transitioning feedly from Google OAuth to Google+ login. You will see this transition surface on cloud.feedly.com this week and on Android and iOS later this month.
The browser version of Feedly has already transitioned to requiring Google+, and that presents a problem for the unknown number of Feedly users that don't have and don't want a Google+ account.
Like me, for example. I have been avoiding Google+ because of Google's obsession with real names and the way that they have cut people off from Google Reader, Gmail, and other Google services for violating the Google+ name policy.
Like many people I depend on Google services on a daily basis, so I wouldn't dare sign up for Google+. There is simply too great of a risk that Google+ might come up with some dumb reason to decide that my last name (Hoffelder) is too much like a town in Germany (Hoffeld) and thus must be a fake name (stranger shit has happened, I swear). Or Google could decide to cut me off because in some places I use Nathaniel as my given name while in others I use Nate. Google could cut me off with no recourse, and I can't risk it.
And based on the responses to Feedly's blog post I am not the only one to balk. Feedly's post is only 10 hours old and it already has over 180 comments, the vast majority of which are from unhappy users. Some have even payed to use Feedly, including Lifetime subscriptions, and an unfortunate few are now cut off from their account.
But even if you ignore the users who quite reasonably refuse to sign up for Google+, Feedly's decision is also a serious issue for anyone that has Google+ blocked in their workplace. At least 3 different commenters have reported that they can't use Feedly at work any more.
This really should have come as no surprise; not all companies approve of all social networks. LinkedIn, sure. And they might have a Facebook page, but there's also a chance that some companies will be using a filter service that blocks Google+.
Update: Feedly has updated their post with the news that they are reverting. They expect to let users sign in using a Google account by around 4pm eastern. Thanks, Heather!
There hasn't been any word from Feedly on how they plan to respond to this fiasco, but I am hoping that they either revert to using a Google account or launch their own log in system. (Why they didn't launch with one is beyond me.) The blog post also mentions that they are working on enabling users to log in with their Twitter or Facebook accounts, but that doesn't matter much to those who cannot access their account today.
But if Feedly doesn't fix this I would bet that their many competitors will pick up a number of new users.