Is Feedly’s new paid RSS service a good deal for users?

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Since the demise of the Google Reader, a number of RSS options have cropped up to try to win over people looking for a good way to aggregate their news. One of them, Feedly, which has gained some traction with its free product over the past few months, is now offering a paid service with some premium features.

Between its free mobile app and its free browser-based version. Feedly now has more than 12 million users. Its new service, Feedly Pro, costs $5 per month, $45 per year, or $99 for a lifetime license for the first 5,000 users who purchase it (edit: As of 10:45 PM EST, this option has already sold out). It offers some extra features that go beyond just streaming some news feeds.

Pro users will be able to search keywords within articles, and get one-click Evernote saves and priority access to Feedly’s customer-support line. The company promises more features down the line, and says users will have a hand in deciding what those will be.

With its new Pro product, Feedly is gambling that people with pay for a service that it’s still easy to get for nothing. A large portion of RSS apps remain free. And those that do have a freemium model tend to be priced under Feedly — like NewsBlur and Feedbin, which have prices of $2 and $3 per month, respectively — and offer similar features.

NewsBlur offers both feed search and priority customer service slots for premium users, while Feedbin has features Feedly does not, including video support. Digg Reader, meanwhile, is also considered a paid product.

What’s clear is that the RSS business is in flux. Since Google Reader closed up shop, RSS alternatives have been jockeying for users. Some, like The Old Reader and Reeder, have stumbled — struggling to cope with their increased user base. Paid products remain unproven in the world of RSS.

Check out our guide to the best news readers.

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