Digg, one of the oldest modern social news sites, announced today that their RSS Reader is in launch and will be available to all users by June 26. In this version of Reader, Digg focused most on the needs of power users: speed, simplicity, and the ability to import feeds and folders from Google Reader.
Digg’s engineering team has spent the past three months determining power users’ needs and building a bare-bones beta version of Digg Reader that meets those needs. When you connect, you can expect easy onboarding from Google Reader, a clean reading experience that puts the focus on the articles, posts, images, and videos in your feed, functional mobile apps that sync with your Web experience, and the ability to subscribe to feeds and share, save, and organize articles. Though Digg intends Reader to be a “freemium” product, all features introduced in their first release will be part of the free experience. “We’re not going to bait-and-switch,” Digg wrote in their blog.
Features to Come
As a bare-bones release, though, features like an Android app, integration with third party services Buffer, Evernote, and IFTTT, search, notifications, and in-depth sorting tools are still in the works for future versions. Throughout the summer and fall, Digg’s engineers will be hard at work on these features. They wrote in their blog,
“While you’re at the beach and doing foliage cruises (or whatever people do in October), we’ll be spending the summer and fall building out a richer feature set, drawing heavily on users’ feedback, ideas, and requests. But first, we want to get the basics right, starting with a clean and uncluttered design and a powerful backend infrastructure than can operate well at scale.”
Is it just me or does Digg Reader look awfully similar to Feedly, one of the leading RSS readers?
Crowdsourcing Development Ideas
When Digg announced the creation of Digg Reader, over 18,000 users signed up as beta testers and volunteered to give Digg active feedback throughout Reader’s development process. Digg lost a ton of users back in 2010 when they upgraded their site to Version 4 and essentially wiping the site clean as it un-democratized its site and favored large media outlets over others’ quality posts. And then last August, Digg completely redesigned the site after a major purge of resources, which incidentally deleted seven years of user accounts. Perhaps the large number of responsive beta testers though is a sign that Digg Reader will win the hearts of new users.
Digg Reader has been in the works since Google announced the impending shutdown of Google Reader on July 1.