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Five Years with Feedly – Why I’m Not Worried about the Demise of Google Reader

When I first heard Google Reader was going, I was really upset. It wasn’t so much about reader itself, but about the possibility of losing the services that depend on it, like my Google Reader interface of choice – Feedly.Feedly logo 2013

As it turned out, there was no need to worry, because thanks to some behind the scenes tech wizardry involving cloning APIs, Feedly will still be around and working long after Google Reader is gone. I’ve been using Feedly for around five years and at this stage I can’t even remember how I found it – what I do know is that I love it.

I’ve already written a comprehensive review of Feedly on this blog, (and here’s my original review if you’re into history), so this time around I’m going to focus on some of the improvements made since then (plus a couple of things I didn’t talk about at the time because they weren’t relevant to me then).

Feedly for Android

One of those things is the Feedly smartphone app, which means that in addition to being available for Chrome, Safari and Firefox, you can use Feedly on Android and iOS – can anyone say cross-platform compatibility?

I am very happy with how Feedly works in Chrome, Firefox and Android and the seamless syncing of read and saved articles across all platforms. The Android app has big, colorful bars for your main categories (grayed out if you have read them all) and the ability to see snippets of five posts at a time. And swiping your way through the articles is easy. Plus, since it’s on Android, it’s easy for me to share articles to other platforms.

iPhone users can download the Feedly app and enjoy these same benefits as well.

Other Feedly Additions

Here are some of the other updates to Feedly since my last review:

When you preview a source in Feedly, it suggests other feeds similar in content via a sidebar module called ‘you might also like’.

Feedly today

There are sidebar modules to show you links shared by Twitter and Facebook friends. I found this a bit noisy and turned off Facebook integration, but I can see where it could be useful. There’s also a small ad in the sidebar, which must be how the developers make money. I believe they deserve any income they get as Feedly is awesome!

In addition to sharing articles directly from Feedly via Twitter, Facebook and others, you can now also +1 them.

One of the features I most wanted in my last review was Buffer integration – Feedly now has it.

There have been major improvements to layout, including a cards view. You can customize the Highlights page to show the most important information first.

Saved to Feedly

You no longer have to move between pages of feeds – the web application features infinite scrolling.

Adding feeds remains easy, either from within the web app or using the Feedly Mini toolbar that pops up on any web page, and now when you add feeds you can also tag them.

There’s fine customization – you can choose among any of the available layouts for each source feed or change them all at once via the preferences panel.

More Goodies

If you’re already using Feedly, you don’t need to do a thing, but if you’re a new user check out these great tips for migrating from Reader.

Bonus Video: HOW TO KEEP GOOGLE READER FOREVER WITH FEEDLY READER

[box type=”info”]Feedly Reader is an extension that make Feedly look just like Google Reader![/box]

Feedly made an immediate commitment to keep the service going and to keep developing and improving it – my experience suggests they can deliver on that promise. Changes usually appear on Chrome first before filtering through to other platforms, but it’s worth worth subscribing to the blog (via Feedly, of course) to keep up with developments.

Do you use Feedly, or have you switched? What do you think of it?

About 

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website or Google+.

85 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. I am using Feedly about a year and I am totally satisfied with it.Whenever I add new sources to Google reader it will automatically add to it.I recommend Feedly to those who is searching for Google reader alternative.

    • This is really a bad news that google reader is going to shut down, but i think feedly will full fill the needs of heavy readers.

      Regards!
      Sarah

  2. I suppose there are some good alternatives but sometimes one cannot help worrying that if they start removing other of its products such as Feedburner, then many would get upset. Feedly seems interesting, will try.

    • I think Feedburner’s days are numbered, Shalu, so I’m moving my feeds over to Aweber. Feedblitz is another solution many have tried – since those are paid products (Feedblitz is free for just RSS, I think), then they are likely to stick around.

  3. Wonderful to see you Sharon at Ileane’s blog :)

    Ah…weren’t we all worried with the news of Reader, and yes, I too have shortlisted Feedly after having read so much about it, though I need to check out the other links you provided here.

    Thanks for sharing, and have a wonderful weekend both of you . :)

    • Ileane’s blog is one of my favorite web outposts, Harleena. :) I’ve tried a few others, but have concluded that sticking with Feedly is the best option for me right now.

  4. Awesome post I didn’t know about feedly I think it might be a good alternative to google reader thanks for sharing !

  5. Hey Sharon,
    Happy Sunday!
    I didn’t really use Google feeder so I can really mourn as such. I know a lot of people used and loved it. That’s why there is noise everywhere about its death.

    I have been using Feedly for a few weeks and I think it’s a great way to bring information together.

    Thanks for pointing out these additions ;)

  6. Hi Sharon,
    I have also started using feedly and so far I have loved what I got but the fact is I have never use Google reader. So, I don’t care about it.

    Thanks for the post.
    Regards,
    Anurag.

  7. Hey Sharon,

    I unfortunately got very used to Google reader, but since the news broke I searched around and quickly found Feedly to be the best alternative.

    I can see why you’ve been with them for so long, I wish I had started using Feedly 5 years ago – I love it .. so many apps and they look great.

    • Although I loved the idea of Reader, Adam, there were always interface issues for me, which Feedly solved. Now that Feedly has come up with a way to survive the demise of Reader, I won’t miss Reader at all.

  8. I recently switched from Google Reader to Feedly, and was soon kicking myself for not switching sooner!

    I find it much more user-friendly than Reader, and it gave me a good incentive for organizing my feeds properly and deleting some that were no longer of interest. All this is much easier and more intuitive with Feedly than Reader, in my opinion.

    The only thing I’ve found less straightforward is adding new feeds. With Reader all you typically had to do was click on the RSS icon, but with Feedly this doesn’t always work, especially with “non-standard” feeds from Feedburner and such like. It can still be done, but sometimes you have to try a few different methods before finding one that works. Hopefully this will improve in due course, though.

    • I’m definitely a fan, Nick. The pop up Feedly Mini toolbar works for adding RSS from most places, but I’ve also had to add occasional feeds manually, using the search bar at the top right of the Feedly window. And I’m sure they will make the process even easier to keep all the Google Reader converts happy.

  9. Feedly is a great alternative even though I am using another type of service.

    Just keep a reliable system in place and things will go alright for your Rss feeds.

    • Loved the post. Thanks for sharing Sharon! I like Google Reader because it is so simple to use. And I have been using this Reader so long and it has served millions. I did not know that Feedly can be a alternative of Google Reader. I would surely try this out.

  10. I like Feedly, but even in compact mode it still feels slower than Google Reader. I also want the ability to have the “share” feature from GR that gives me an RSS out that I can pull into Hootsuite for selective distribution. Right now I can share to numerous places with a work-around to keep the “share” button working, and only have to +1 to put it to my personal G+ account as well. Feedly would mean I need to share it to Twitter, LinkedIn personal, LinkedIn page, G+ page, FB page isn’t even a smooth option. I’m not yet sold on Feedly though I like them for a last resort.

  11. I would have never even realized that Google Reader was discontinued. When I heard how crazy people got I was actually really surprised.

    Thanks for a good alternative though I appreciate the info!

  12. Excellent post. I did not know that Feedly can be a alternative of Google Reader. When Google Reader gets down, I thought that Google has done a big mistake when they close it out and it seems that they have done a good thing. They have millions of things to take care and they need to take steps to take them out.
    thanks

  13. Google… BIG MISTAKE.

    Freely will experience an unprecedented growth after Google RSS feed is out. I have been using it for over an year now and completely in love with it.

  14. Like many people, I had a mild panic attack when Google announced they were closing down Reader. I read a lot (like 150 books a year a lot) so RSS is invaluable for tracking 300+ sites. But I made the transition to Feedly and I have to say I am super-impressed, especially by the interface. It doesn’t have all the power user features that Google’s extensions provided, but I am happy with the change!

  15. Some one’s loss is some one else’s gain, as they say.
    In this case, most of Google Readers’ loyals are shifting base to feedly.
    I have been using the Reader for so long that it is difficult for me to think of a switch over. I tried Feedly- and I wont say that it’s not as good (or even better). But there is something called HABIT.
    You get so used to certain things that you dont WANT to change even when you feel that you have a better option.
    Really saddened by the demise of the Reader. :(

  16. This is something like an interesting one.
    I was so confused after hearing about the closing dates of Google Reader. Somehow, now I can manage my works within this app. I would surely try this. Wonderful explanation you have shared.

  17. Yes
    Feedly is the best alternative of google reader. Recently I have started using Feedly and I find it very helpful. But I love google reader much:)

  18. Hey Sharon, I started using Feedly only after the announcement of Google Reader going to grave. I was happily using the Google reader until then. But I love Feedly already – I love its interface and its simplicity – yes the infinite scrolling feature is great.

    Most of all – it looks and works great on my Droid :) Thanks so much for the headup!

  19. sunaina sangeet

    Google reader is one of the most advanced services of Google. It is very sad to hear that it will close very soon. Your post reveals that feedy will make over the situation. Thank you for valuable information.

  20. All this while I have been using Google Reader. Guess now I don’t have to cry over the demise of GReader huh. Feedly looks to better than the one dumped by Big G. :D

    • From all I’ve read, it looks like it’s the top Reader replacement for many, Leslie, though there are other contenders such as Newsblur that are also pretty popular.

  21. You won’t believe but just now before reading your post I tried and installed Freedly on my Chrome. Pretty awesome) Actually, i was not happy with reader ever. it is too bulky for me(

  22. Hadley

    It’s surprising Google have took the step to get rid of the Reader. However, I never used it all that much myself really and as Freedly sticks around it really doesn’t make that much difference.

    • It’s surprising, Hadley, but I’m glad to know it won’t make much difference to you. Since I subscribe to about 100 feeds, I was concerned. Luckily, I don’t need to be any more.

  23. When I first hear that Google is shutting down Google reader, I Googled to find it`s alternatives and first one I found was Feedly. A week back I installed it, though I didn`t started using it.
    Anyway am also waiting for Digg version of Google reader.
    What do you say? Do you think Digg can develop better than Feedly?
    ~@Khajamoin1

  24. Great post! This really helps others.

    But, Seriously? You were ignoring GR from the beginning? How could you?

    I am sad, am going to miss GR much :(

    Will wait till June to make a shift. Either The Old reader or any other minimalistic RSS reader.

    Not impressed with feedly, flipboard, pulse, G currents etc.

    • The Old Reader is my backup option, just in case Feedly ever disappears, MadrasGeek. I like the minimalism, but it’s still mostly a web-based tool which doesn’t suit me.

  25. Seeing as I’m using my actual phone for blogging more, getting Freely might be a wise decision for me in the near future. I’ll definitely try it out. Thanks for the advice.

  26. Thanks for all these lovely alternatives to be honest I hadn’t heard of a lot of these so I will have to do my research it nice to know there are other choices

  27. I have not used Feedly, and I have not switched to anything yet. Probably going to use netvibes. I don’t know. I really liked Google Reader!

  28. Honestly I like Google Reader because it is so simple to use. I was a little disappointed to here about it being shut down, but it don’t bother me too much not to have to rely on another Google product or service. If Feedly is as easy to use as Reader is I will definitely look into it.

  29. well google reader is what everyone loves and honestly we can say that we are use to googl reader,so it should not be shut down.

  30. Great post Sharon, I did once used it but gave up because I had google reader, but now I’m preparing myself for feedly and this post is for sure very helpful. I like the option to see related posts. Thanks for sharing ;)

  31. It appears I’m the only stranger in ‘Jerusalem’
    Almost every blog is talking about the demise of Google Reader and its corresponding alternative.
    I don’t know and have never used it before so I guess I can’t be perturbed.

  32. I have a lot of feeds in my Google Reader and am not looking forward to the process of having to move them. I’m currently moving a couple every day, hopefully this will be complete by the time Google Reader closes.

    Then I’ll have to start looking for a replacement for Feedburner!

  33. @ Kabenlah – seriously!? I like your reference though ;)

    Appreciate this blog post, and the Feedly news. That I hadn’t known about previously; you may have made a sale.

    Franco

  34. From what I understand Feedly is not a “web service” or whatever you’d call it but a browser plugin, so my search for a good Google Reader alternative is still ongoing I’m afraid.

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      Hi Amanda, it’s both a web app (which works in your browser) and a browser plugin, but it really comes into its own on the phone or tablet where it works like any regular feed reader (and looks awesome, too!

  35. Feedly is indeed a great alternative to Google reader, for those who are wondering about a nice alternative to Google reader its their best bet…

  36. Nice and insight review.

    I tried Google Reader and only used it few times. When I heard the news about Google Reader will be closed, I tried looking for other alternatives. Few folks suggest Feedly. I tried it and never look back. It’s simple, fast and minimalistic.

  37. Glad most of you are finding this a good alternative.

    Someone mentioned that it’s not as easy to add RSS feeds. In some ways that is true. I don’t like having to search for a feed in the web app, but using the mini toolbar makes it easy.