We love the “RSS Is Dead” meme here at TechCrunch. Hell, we started it. And while RSS isn’t exactly dead as in gone, it is dead in that the vast majority of people who consume content on the web have absolutely no idea what it is and will never know what it is. But even that’s not necessarily bad news for RSS. What is bad news is that services that previously only relied on it are now moving beyond it.
Today, Pulse, the visual news-reading app for iPhone, iPad, and Android, is announcing that they’re moving beyond RSS, and instead hooking up with APIs to get access to content. What type of content? Content from Reddit, Digg, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, and PicPlz. Yes, you’ll now be able to browse all of those within Pulse.
“For a lot of our users, Pulse has become their go-to ‘browser’ for consuming content. And this content does not have to be restricted to RSS feeds,” the company writes in their blog post. But, to be clear, they’ll still use RSS, they’ll just continue to do so in the background while attempting to make it actually work for users. Their key blurb:
At Pulse, we use RSS to power a lot of the news streams, but we have never marketed ourselves as a “RSS reader”. RSS, as many have noted, sounds very geeky – something we find impossible to explain to our mothers. RSS provides the plumbing to visualize a variety of news sources, but it is never mentioned in the app. We added a layer of usability that really resonated with our mainstream users.