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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.

4 Responses to “Is Feedly’s new paid RSS service a good deal for users?”

  1. I’m willing to put up the bucks if it will help to ensure Feedly’s longevity, as opposed to what Google did when it wasn’t monetizing Reader. I’m trusting that more features are forthcoming to increase the value of the Pro model. None of the other services have matched the ubiquitous utility I got from Reader as well as Feedly has, so far. BTW, the lifetime subscription is limited to the first 5,000, NOT 500,000 as stated in the article herein.

  2. Jon Henshaw

    Feedly has been around for some time now and I’ve watched them tweak their UX several times over the years. I’ve tried almost every RSS reader out there (desktop/web, mobile app) and Feedly now provides the best user experience out there. It’s easily worth $5/mo, which is why I went ahead and paid the one-time fee for the lifetime account before they hit their promotional 5,000 user limit. Their success and this fee is well deserved.

  3. The paid features don’t grab me, what I’m more concerned about is the possibility that currently free features will be moved over to the paid version. Things like source limits or articles fed per day might be put in place. That would be a deal breaker for me, but feedly is oh so pretty :)

    • You’re right – from a distance the bait and switch between paid and free features seems to leave a taste of uncertainty in one’s mouth. This is why with Kouio we’ve only had paid accounts from day one (although free during our first few months of beta).

      Check it out, it’s very slick :-)