In 10 days, Google’s RSS feed-reading service Google Reader will shut down for good. In its wake, developers working on products in the RSS ecosystem have been stepping up to deliver apps, tools and other services to fill the void. Today, one of the frontrunners, Feedly, is transforming itself from RSS application to RSS platform, with the public debut of Feedly Cloud, the infrastructure that has been powering Feedly’s own apps and those from a small handful of approved developers.
That infrastructure will also now power a new, standalone web version of Feedly (one that doesn’t rely on a browser extension), something that’s been among Feedly users’ top requests.
The company first announced partnerships with RSS app makers Reeder, Press, Nextgen Reader, Newsify and gReader earlier this month, all of which are moving to support the Feedly API ahead of the Google Reader shutdown. For end users of those applications, Google Reader often powered the backend of their feed-reading experience, but the front end (the visual interface) was handled by a third party. Now those users can seamlessly transition away from Google Reader dependence, without any extra effort on their part.
Feedly, through its “Normandy” project,” has been working to clone the Reader API, and it’s now running that on Google’s App Engine platform. Today, in addition to Feedly’s own apps for iOS, Android, Chrome, Safari and Firefox, and now web, as well as those select third-party partners listed above, the company is making its backend infrastructure more broadly available. It’s adding new Feedly Cloud partners IFTTT, Sprout Social, gNewsReader for BlackBerry 10 and Symbian/MeeGo, Press, Pure News Widget, and Meneré, in addition to those above, and will onboard others still in the weeks ahead.
Though Feedly once struggled in the shadow of Google Reader, it has emerged in recent weeks as one of the top alternatives for end users in need of a new home for their feeds ahead of Reader’s demise.
On the iPhone, Feedly’s app is currently No. 4 in the News section of the iOS App Store in the U.S., according to rankings from Distimo, and it’s No. 6 on Android. And while its overall ranking in the top charts has been sometimes sporadic, it has consistently stayed at the top of the news section in both stores for several months.
Feedly says it now reaches 12 million users, up from 4 million pre-Reader retirement. Millions of new users have come to the service, and, more importantly, the company says that 68 percent of new users become weekly actives. Maybe 12 million users is a drop in the bucket for a web giant like Google, but for a small startup, these are notable numbers. However, Digg.com is preparing to launch its own RSS reader, too, just before Reader’s shutdown, which could change the current landscape if it’s any good.
Ahead of today’s public launch of Feedly Cloud, Feedly has been processing over 25 million RSS feeds daily, accounting for billions of articles, and has seen over 200 developers getting in touch to request access to the Feedly API.
The new version of Feedly on the web is live now.