In recent times, I have come across some articles that proclaim the slow death of RSS feeds as a way for users to subscribe to websites. If so, then how does the number of subscribers to newspaper RSS feeds be compared?
I suggested sometime in June 2009 that there’s a need for newspapers to turn off their RSS feeds since no one was using them. Yes, I know it’s unfortunate.
But what is RSS reader used for?
To simplify it, RSS means Simple Syndication. This refers to files that can be easily read by a computer known as XML files which automatically update information. Note that this information is produced by a user’s RSS feed reader which converts the files and the latest info from a website into an easy-to-read format.
But are RSS feeds still in use in 2021?
Yes, RSS feeds are still in use, but they’re gradually becoming less popular since there’s the use of social media and email subscriptions. Right now, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn bring the latest news to users from a site. This simply means that RSS feeds aren’t as widely used anymore, but they are still beneficial for your site!
So here’s a list of newspapers that helps in comparing the number of subscribers in Google reader for each of the RSS feeds as of 18 months ago. Currently, the overall fall is about 68%.
- The Sun: Their June 2009 subscribers are 5,348, and their January 2011 subscribers are 1,811.
- The Independent: Their June 2009 subscribers are 7,669, and their January 2011 subscribers are 4,391.
- The Times: Their June 2009 subscribers are 17,603, and their January 2011 subscribers are 462.
- The Telegraph: Their June 2009 subscribers are 8,299, and their January 2011 subscribers are 6,961.
- The FT: Their June 2009 subscribers are 96,819, and their January 2011 subscribers are 33,173.
- The Guardian: Their June 2009 subscribers are 144,724, and their January 2011 subscribers are 37,645.
- The Express: Their June 2009 subscribers are 289, and their January 2011 subscribers are 438.
- The Mirror: Their June 2009 subscribers are 716, and their January 2011 subscribers are 1,367.
- The Mail: Their June 2009 subscribers are 1,424, and their January 2011 subscribers are 5,016.
This shows that the papers that have large numbers of subscribers have seen significant drop-offs. While few have seen an increase.
So how can I get a free RSS feed?
Here are the top 8 Free Online RSS Readers
- Digg Reader. This Digg Reader happens to be a free online RSS reader with a cleaner user interface. They have all the features that will be needed for reading and managing your RSS feeds.
- Feedreader Online. The Feedreader happens to be an online application that is a simple and free RSS reader.
- The Old Reader.
So what can I use instead of RSS?
Below are 4 Best Alternatives to RSS Feeds
This is a great way to stay updated, they are building up from where the recently discontinued Google Reader left off.
Sometimes searches that function in Google Reader can be a bit flaky, but there are top feeds in each case. You should know that some feeds having the most subscribers is not always the same now as it was back then.
Within 18 months, the number of people that are using Google Reader must have changed. However, I’m not sure of any figures that show a drastic fall in its market share. As you can see, the Time’s numbers have drastically been affected