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An Early User Report Suggests Feedly’s Search Feature Isn’t Worth $45 a Year

14288135_05fd9e848a[1]Feedly has been getting a lot of press attention this week with the official launch of their new paid service (with the much-hyped search feature), but have you come across any actual reviews?

I haven’t signed up myself nor have I been able to find user reviews, so I have been wondering just how well Feedly’s search function worked.

If the comment left on my post is any indication, then the answer is "not too well".

A commenter going by the name if naum reported signing up for Feedly Pro just to get the search feature, and then regretted it:

Paid $45 for the year sub solely for the *Search* feature.

But their implementation of *Search* leaves much to be desired:

1. It’s not responsive — “incremental” (each “iteration” only returns less than a screen full of results, think “infinite scroll”) searches sometimes take 10 seconds or longer or timeout even. That’s simply unacceptable.

2. Search appears to be solely confined to articles within the last 30 days. Why can’t my entire article base be queried? It makes search a lot less useful and in combination with #1, have a hard time justifying why I spent $45.

3. Special characters (i.e., ‘%’) cause an error page to be returned. Looks like it goes directly into the URL query string unescaped as if it is escaped (i.e., ‘%25? for ‘%’) then the search will run.

Not asking for my money back at least at this juncture, but it sure is shoddy business to charge customers for a half-baked product.

I haven’t used Feedly’s search feature, so I cannot comment. Does this report match with your experience?

I’d love to read what your opinion on the service, and so would everyone who is still contemplating whether to sign up for Feedly Pro. $5 a month is a lot to pay for a service if it doesn’t work very well.

P.S. The reason I didn’t sign up for Feedly Pro was that I had already paid for BazQux which has all of the same features for less money.

image by Tall Chris

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Paolo Amoroso August 28, 2013 um 2:29 pm

I waa among the first 5,000 users who bought a lifetime Pro account. Yes, the report does match my experience. Feedly search is disappointingly slow and often ineffective. It needs a lot more work.

Also, search results are displayed in magazine view, not the more space-efficient title view. This can’t currently be changed.

If search is the feature you are looking for, you should wait some more before buying a Pro account.

vshabanov August 28, 2013 um 3:19 pm

I’ve tried it yesterday. Sometimes it returns search results quickly, sometimes 5-10 seconds or even timeouts.

No advanced search features (like wildcards, search by subject/author, OR/AND/NOT operators).

Search results are always in magazine view (not the selected one).

So it’s very basic and quite buggy at the moment.

The Commons August 28, 2013 um 3:50 pm

I think people are kind of forgeting something. The $9/$45 fee isn’t just for search, support, what have you; it’s for that PLUS paying the staff to keep Feedly running. Aside from this fee, I’m not sure how they’ll be able to monetize this service.

vshabanov August 28, 2013 um 4:26 pm

The problem with Feedly is a freemium model. While it helps Feedly to get many users it also means that those few percents of users who convert to customers need to pay for all those free users too.

That’s why all other commercial RSS readers offer lower price — they have no need to support free users.

Nate Hoffelder August 28, 2013 um 4:53 pm

Freemium wasn’t really the problem, IMO. I think the fact that Feedly put off charging people for the service put them in the position of having to charge too much to cover the deadbeats.

And remember, there are any number of smaller services that are completely free (or donation-supported) and run as a hobby. The Old Reader was one, and it wasn’t an issue until the Readerpocalypse.

Edwin Khodabakchian August 28, 2013 um 4:56 pm

Hello. This is Edwin from feedly.

Search is one of our core focuses for the next 12 months and will get incrementally better over the next 12 months. The early adopters are helping accelerate the innovation in that area.

"Free users" are a really important part of the ecosystem: they create a lot of value for the community by helping organize all the content and having a freemium model with a very large base means that we do not need to waste money marketing. 100% of our growth has been organic.

We are just starting the pro journey. We will be adding new features regularly and improving the existing ones. Early adopters of pro should think of their investment as funding the future of feedly and making that the platform is sustainable and innovates faster.

Also please keep in mind that all pro users have 5 days to ask for a full refund no question asked. Just send an email to your pro contact.

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