It’s been a little over a month since Google Reader shut down, and the RSS reader landscape is starting to enter a new frontier. Plenty of folks who used to use RSS readers to keep up on the latest news say they now use Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks for much the same thing.

But if you want to make sure you never miss an article from your favorite sites — and you have a lot of favorite sites, it’s tough to top a full service feed reader. Hoping to pick up some users displaced by the closure of Google Reader, a number of companies launched new alternatives this summer. Meanwhile some existing companies have seriously spruced up their offerings.

There’s one thing most have in common though: unlike Google, they plan to make money from subscriptions. Most either already have a premium option or plan to roll one out soon.

feedly pro

Feedly has been doing its best to be the heir to the Google Reader throne over the past few months. The company has been developing and tweaking new features, rolling out additional servers, and opening an API that lets third party apps use Feedly as a backend to sync your subscriptions, read items, and other data across mobile apps, websites, and more.

Up until now Feedly has been an entirely free service — but the company has long promised to rollout a premium option for folks that want extra features. Now Feedly has introduced the pricing for Feedly Pro:

  • $5 per month or
  • $45 per year

This morning the company also offered a one-time deal of $99 for lifetime service — but it was only available to the first 5000 folks who signed up, and the offer’s already gone.

Feedly Pro will launch this fall, and it will offer extra goodies including the ability to search for content within your feeds, save items to Evernote with a single-click, and httpss security (although the company plans to roll out httpss support to all users once it figures out how to make it scale better). Pro customers will also get premium support.

feedly search2

I rely on an RSS reader to keep up on news from hundreds of websites every day — Google Reader was sort of like my AP Newswire for tech news from around the globe, and as a blogger it was a key part of my work-flow. Feedly has been my go-to reader for the last few months, so I was one of the first in line to pony up $99 for a service I use all day, every day.

But $45 per year kind of seems like a lot of money for more casual users.

Fortunately there are other options. Online feed reader NewsBlur offers premium accounts for $24 per year.

Feedly still offers a free service for folks that don’t need the Pro features, and Digg Reader and AOL Reader are both free — although Digg plans to roll out a premium service eventually.

Meanwhile the folks at The Old Reader recently announced that despite initial plans to scale back service drastically, the service is now under new ownership which has plans to spruce up the Old Reader and keep it up and running.

You can still install desktop RSS apps, but once you get used to a service that lets you check your news from your mobile device and pretty much any PC with a web browser, it’s hard to go back.

So what do you think is a fair price to pay? $24 per month? $45 per month? Less? More?

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16 replies on “How much would you pay for a Google Reader replacement?”

  1. If someone makes an EXACT clone of Google Reader (same interface and all), I would pay up to $5/month for it.

    Feedly’s crappy UI keeps me from using it. Their mobile app is almost unusable.

    The Old Reader seems the closest, but is still not quite the same.

  2. Well, i ‘ve exported all my feeds from Google Reader into News on They have 100% open API. After testing several other RSS reading services, nothing can compare to this as i have one login to access everything (contacts, calendar, bookmarks, pictures, music, etc). I have significant amount of feeds and owndrive’s interface is just great to handle it. I can also read my feeds on my Android devices and on Chrome through an extension in Chrome Web Store. Additionally, it’s an european service, free from NSA spies 🙂

  3. I pay $24/yr for the excellent Newsblur reader. It comes the closest to how I used Google Reader and what I’m looking for in a RSS reader.

  4. $0, the RSS+Atom feeds integrated in my blog CMS is good enough an doesn’t give every user information to a mole backed by NSA or to give advantage to big company over my content value.

  5. Fuck Feedly for making people pay for basic features like.. being able to search articles. What the fuck? Fuck you Feedly..

  6. Given that there are enough great free Google Reader clones out there (InoReader and TheOldReader), I wouldn’t use a pay service at all. Having said that, if those alternative options weren’t available, then $5 a month sounds like a reasonable price.

  7. Addendum: it really depends on the quality of the service. I’m very happy with Feedly because they’ve been reliable from the get-go, they have open APIs so 3rd party clients work, and they’ve been rather responsive to requests and issues (not quite bugs, but weird stuff like “mark all read” also marking not-yet-displayed stuff read… that no longer seems to be the case, thankfully.

    Plus frankly, I like the idea of giving smaller, paid-for outfits a chance. Ads-supported behemoths à la Google are proving everyday they can’t be relied on.

  8. I paid Feedly $100 for lifetime service this morning. This is a bit of a leap of faith, but they’ve been doing good work until now.

    I think $5/mo is a bit high. It’s 1/4 of my monthly “unlimited” mobile carrier bill. I’d be very OK with $1 or $2, $3 is still fine, anything above gives me pause. I’m fine with yearly, not monthly, commitments.

  9. $2, or *maybe* $3. Sorry Feedly. I wanted to love them, but their UI didn’t click for me; I’ve already switched to inoreader. (Newsblur was also quite nice; tt-rss’s differences to google reader just bothered me too much, and I didn’t think the dev would appreciate patches to do things like scroll past the end of an article list…)

    1. Actually, I think Feedly did a very good job with the UI.

      1- their “cloud” (web) client has a Google Reader clone view, which is fine by me.

      2- they have an API, so on my mobile devices I can keep using my favorite client: GReader Pro. There may even be desktop clients that use their back end ?

      1. I’m glad you like it and it works for you. 🙂 Since they were first out the gate and have been excellent about supporting third party readers you will be very happy staying with them, I think!

        1a) Their “Google Reader clone” view doesn’t match how I used to use reader. At all. The “full article” view is much closer, but just like tt-rss, I can’t scroll down until all of the content I was reading is auto-marked read. (Instead, they offer a giant button, which is okay, but I didn’t like it nearly as much.)

        1b) Also when I resized my browser so it wasn’t full screen the sidebar vanishes. I tried to get used to that but couldn’t; it just bugs the heck out of me for some reason.

        2) Yeah, I *love* GReader Pro. Noinnion is making a ‘new’ app called News+ that looks and works just about the same way, but with the ability to add more third parties than Feedly and The Old Reader — I use that now for Inoreader. But you’re going to be extremely happy staying with Feedly I think, and more power to you and them; they deserve it for how fast they were off the mark and how open about it all they’ve been, IMO. 🙂

        (I like Inoreader because it’s basically “google reader, if it was made with twitter-bootstrap styling”. I guess I hate change more than I thought I did. ._.)

  10. I paid $20 for feedbin. I am ok with that price. But $99 (even for lifetime) seems too much. Just no idea of how long the service will last and how many apps will work and/or how many features will be available to the apps.

  11. $0. Why? Because whatever RSS reading service you choose should be data mining your article reading habits and selling that information to advertisers and marketers. This article reading information is extremely valuable, as it provides insights into an individual person’s interests that a search history, facebook and twitter could never rival.

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