Google Reader users looking for a new home for your RSS feeds have just enough time to give the Digg Reader a try before the Google-powered service is retired on July 1. Digg announced in a blog post today that its Web-based RSS reader will open for business on June 26, which gives you exactly five days to move your feeds to Digg before Google makes them vanish.
While Digg envisions a more feature-rich Reader than its predecessor, at this point, Digg is just looking to keep the lights on on your feeds so that you don’t miss any updates to your favorite websites when Google Reader shuts down in exactly two weeks. The company is aware that power users “depend on the availability, stability, and speed of Reader every day,” so it’s committed to getting the bare-bones tool up and running first, then expanding its functionality over the next 60 days and beyond.
Phase One involves keeping Reader simple, fast, and, most importantly, easy to import your feeds and folders into Digg. You should be able to receive all the latest updates to your favorite websites – whether it’s new photos, videos or articles – and they should automatically sync with your mobile app so that you can share, subscribe, save or organize the content however you like. As you can see in the screenshot above, the Digg Reader interface is very clean and no-nonsense. All your feeds are listed along the left beige sidebar where you can scroll through the content to decide what to read.
Although Digg would like to turn its Reader into a “freemium” service with some features reserved for paying users, it is promising not to do a “bait-and-switch” by keeping its most basic features – like the ones that will be launching on June 26 – available to even non-paying users.
The company promises that within 60 days of this initial launch (or by the end of August), it will be introducing the Digg Reader for Android app (as pictured above), increase the service’s speed, integrate with third-party tools like Evernote, release better features for organizing content (to filter, rank and sort materials), as well as respond to user feedback. That’s an ambitious plan to accomplish within a relatively short amount of time. We have a feeling that users will be plenty content with a free RSS feed that works by July 1. Any additional features will be just icing, at least for now.
Not sure if Digg’s Reader is for you? Check out our list of the best Google Reader alternatives.