Skip to main content

The Readerpocalypse Continues: Feedly Adds 500k Users in 48 Hours, Promises Better Support for Hard-Core Users

feedlyFour days have passed since Google announced the imminent death of Google Reader, and at least one claimants for the news reader crown is enjoying the boom in business.

Feedly announced a couple days ago that in the first 48 hours after the Google Reader news broke, they gained over 500,000 new users.  With luck they’re going to keep them, too.

Feedly is adding servers and bandwidth right and left, but more importantly they are actively trying to recruit Google Reader users by offering the reading experience we want.

I tried Feedly the night that that the news broke and I didn’t like it for a host of reasons. This site had been moved off my list of possible GR replacements because of design issues like gray text on a gray background but once I read about Feedly’s near-term plans I decided to keep an eye on it.

Feedly is far too prettified for my tastes, but they understand that their service won’t appeal to hard-core Google Reader users so they have put together a blog post with some tips on how to make feedly less pretty and more functional like:

A lot of Google Reader users use their reader as a research/curation tool and need to be able to crunch through a lot of articles very fast. When you are in a feed or category page, you can click on the gear icon and select the Titles view to get a denser text only experience. If you want assign the titles view to all your feeds and categories, there is a global knob in the preference page.

Okay, I tried that tip and it doesn’t actually work, but still.

Feedly is showing that they really understand what I want out of their service, and that is enough for me to put Feedly back on the list of possibilities.

Unlike Zite, which launched a new Google Reader content section (but probably won’t ever lose their prettified reading theme), or Digg, which has only promised to start developing a GR replacement, or Opera, which is lacking in basic features, Feedly is being proactive in at least talking about the features I need.

There’s no guarantee that they will actually adopt any of the features, but the fact that Feedly sees the problem gives me hope. And if nothing else it does not hurt to watch them while at the same time I continue to look for a replacement for Google Reader.

Similar Articles


Steve March 17, 2013 um 9:41 am

Feedly’s chrome permissions are heinous. They want the ability to look at all your data. This concerns me.

Chris March 17, 2013 um 10:33 am

I remember hating Google Reader when I switched from Bloglines, until I used it for a while and got used to it, so I’m cutting Feedly some slack while I use it and get used to it.

Did you try any of the other color themes beyond the gray on gray? I also like that I can customize the view by folder – some folders are now set to the title view, while others are set to full article.

Also, now that I’ve played with the Android app on my phone and tablet, I’ve decided that I like it more than the web client.

Chris March 17, 2013 um 10:34 am

Oh, and Dear Author noted today that Feedburner’s going away, too – have you researched feed alternatives to that?

Nate Hoffelder March 17, 2013 um 11:14 am

There has not been any news that Feedburner is going away.

Nate Hoffelder March 17, 2013 um 11:21 am

I’ve tried the other themes on Feedly but they don’t offer the one I want. Black text on a white background might be old-fashioned but it works for me.

Todd March 17, 2013 um 12:16 pm

Hi Nate,

I don’t remember if I’ve commented about this on your blog before but my brother and I have a small web based RSS reader site called FeedsAnywhere that has a business like interface as you describe with black on white text. In fact it could stand to be prettier rather than the other way around. It’s free and if the server costs get to be too much we’ll add premium features and keep what we currently offer free.

We support Google Reader syncing so it’s easy to get started though we have our own backend so we don’t rely on Google.

You can select individual feeds with the interface, but it’s designed to be a River of News. I personally subscribe to about 400 feeds and it handles that many just fine.



yuzutea March 17, 2013 um 4:43 pm

I find Feedly is too intrusive. I don’t mind the design of the site itself, but it installed a button in my Firefox browser, and then it started putting this ghostly button over images and such so I could reblog them to feedly. This is not what I wanted at all, so I uninstalled Feedly.

Nate Hoffelder March 17, 2013 um 9:23 pm

Those buttons are annoying, yes. Fortunately they can be disabled.

Write a Comment