Feedly takes big steps toward substituting for Google Reader

Feedly logoStill saddened by Google Reader’s pending demise? Well, feel better: an alternative is making big strides toward gathering the slack.

Feedly, an RSS provider seen as a top substitute to Google’s soon-to-die service, announced this week that it not only has a standalone version available for any Web browser, but that its cloud storage features are active and ready to use.

This is important because until recently Feedly depended on Google Reader’s backend infrastructure to pull content from websites and stream them to Feedly users. But after Google decided to shut down its own feed reader July 1, Feedly’s folks set to work on a substitute with similar infrastructure.

The result is a news aggregator allowing one-click migration of Google Reader content and transforming Feedly from RSS application to a full-fledged platform aggregator. This change alone moves Feedly to the top of the list among potential Reader substitutes.

RSS, or Real Simple Syndication, is a data format that lets users keep track of frequently updated Web content. For journalists, RSS affords an easy way to monitor numerous news services without having to click on each site individually and update them.

There are several providers available but Google Reader, unveiled in 2005, soon dominated. Then in March, Google said it would shut down Reader due to declining usage, though Google offered no details to prove that. Public outcry was such that a petition was started with hopes of changing Google’s mind.

Feedly currently provides instructions on its cloud portal how to install the revised aggregator and import Google Reader content. The company claims to have tripled its user total from 4 million to more than 12 million since Google’s announcement.

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