Feedly adds Web version in new bid for Google Reader users

Feedly wishes Google Reader a "happy retirement" and makes a pitch to replace the popular RSS feed.

Story highlights

  • Google Reader will be shut down July 1
  • Feedly makes a bid to inherit more Google Reader fans
  • The Feedly app has tripled to 12 million users since March
Feedly, the Web-content app that got a surge of new users when Google announced it was pulling the plug on its Reader service, is making a play to inherit even more.
On Wednesday, the company announced it's rolling out Feedly Cloud, creating a one-click way for Google Reader users to migrate to Feedly, and a new, stand-alone desktop version of the service. Like Google Reader, which will shut down July 1, Feedly pulls content from various websites into a customizable feed.
"With the release of Feedly Cloud, Feedly today transitions from a product to a platform," the company said in a blog post.
Since Google announced it was shutting down Reader in March, Feedly's user numbers have already tripled from 4 million to about 12 million, a spokesman told CNN.
The main drawback for many prospective users has been that Feedly has primarily been a mobile app, unlike Reader, which users accessed mainly on the Web.
In March, Google said that while Reader had many loyal users, its popularity had been waning. It hadn't seen a significant update since 2011, and many of its social features were stripped as the company began pushing users to Google+, its social network.
According to the blog post, Feedly Cloud already is processing more than 25 million feeds daily. There are multiple third-party apps attached to it, allowing users multiple options as to how they can set up their RSS feeds.
An RSS feed processes posts from blogs and websites and pulls them all together in one place in a standard format. Publishers like RSS (rich site summary) because it allows users to subscribe, theoretically putting every new post in front of them automatically instead of relying on the user to check in for new content.
Feedly said that a stand-alone version has been one of the more requested new features since the news broke of Google Reader's demise. Previously, plug-ins or extensions would let users of browsers such as Chrome and Firefox access a version of Feedly, but even those patched-together versions weren't available to users of popular browsers such as Opera and Internet Explorer.
Feedly Cloud will be available Wednesday to visitors to Feedly's website.