Google Reader quickly became the most-popular RSS reader for its simple interface and great keyboard shortcuts, but as Avvo’s Sachin Bhatia pointed out in the comments, it is shutting down. You have until July 1st to find something else.

I have already picked my replacement: Fever. If installing software on your own server does not scare you, I think it is the best alternative.

If you would like something easier, check out these alternatives. Just be careful — a lot of them actually require Google Reader for syncing up feeds. Hopefully, some of them will reconfigure to work without Google Reader. In the meantime, here are a few that will still work:

  • RSSOwl works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is local software, though, which is less than useful for people who live in the cloud.
  • NewsBlur is cloud-based and free for up to 64 feeds.
  • FeedDemon is a Windows RSS reader with an ad-supported free version and a Pro upgrade.

There are other alternatives at alternativeTo. I expect we will see a few other options pop up in the next few months, as well. But the fact remains that RSS is losing popularity as people find other methods to follow their favorite websites.

Update: As Niki points out in the comments, it looks like Feedly has been planning for this, and will migrate to their own backend when Google Reader shuts down.


  1. Todd Scott says:

    FYI… Fever is not free. About $30. And as you said, you have to host it. Do you know anything about Feedly?

  2. Nick Kellet says:

    Here’s a crowdsourced list of alternatives to Google Reader. Feel free to vote/comment and suggest additions.

  3. Larry Port says:

    Better yet, sign the petition! Maybe Google will listen. Maybe cows will fly. You just never know.


  4. How much of a market is there for desktop RSS in a mobile world? I’m also not so sure that we’ll see growth for RSS because of alternatives – I think most people will either rely on google news alerts or Twitter which offer only limited slices (my post – But perhaps this will give existing RSS feeds more incentive to build up.

    • Bob Striker says:

      I think that RSS will be used for a while now. I have been using Feedly on my iPhone for years for blogs that I don’t read on a a daily basis. I find Twitter feeds to be less convenient than an RSS reader. Google alerts and Feedburner emails are fine but having all of my reading in one place makes life a lot easier.

      The other related issue that I’m wondering about is the loss of Feedburner. Google has already deprecated the Feedburner API, so I’m guessing that the service’s days are limited. We’ll have a lot of bloggers and other providers casting about for an alternative when that happens.

  5. Gyi says:

    Not sure if formatting will hold in comment box, but:

    No one uses Google Reader anymore & I follow all of them.— Tim Maly (@doingitwrong) March 13, 2013

  6. But what does this mean for the future of law? This is an important discussion we must have. Someone please help us.

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