Our Favourite Alternatives to Google Reader

Google Reader is sadly shutting down, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on updates from your favourite feeds and online reads. There are plenty of other readers out there, some even allow you to import your settings straight from Google Reader to prevent you from having to trawl through the internet all over again and rebuild your personalised feed. So before Google puts its Reader to sleep for good on the 1st July 2013, be sure to find your alternative. Here are some of our favourite readers:


The name is a little deceiving, but it does not seem to have hindered the momentum that this social site has managed to pick up. It isn’t just a straight forward RSS reader, and that’s one of the things that drew us to it. It’s more of a social network aggregator, bringing together everything of interest from all social networking sites in addition to RSS feeds. It allows you to share posts about what you care about, as well as choosing what social influencers and subject fields you want to see posts from in your feed, and which social media/RSS feeds you want to see these posts from. Simple, and just what is wanted from a reader/social aggregator.  


Forums and social sites have been going mad with people asking advice on what to switch to now that Google Reader has announced its departure, and a name that frequently seems to be appearing as a popular alternative is Feedly. Like Rebelmouse, Feedly offers the option of content sharing on linked social networks and the personalised feeds from these social networks and RSS feeds, but with added customisable layout options and apps/extensions for a multitude of browsers and devices. These options make it a winner for anyone who often accesses their reader on multiple devices, and although customisable layout might not seem important in a reader, it is actually a useful option to have and once you have tried it you are likely to never go back!


If you are looking for something extremely simple to switch to and with many similarities to the soon to be extinct Google Reader, then NewsBlur is for you. It does have some worthwhile extra features including a “blurblog” creation option, which is a custom blog of content you enjoy and want to share with others. There is however a limit to the amount free users can get out of NewsBlur, with a cap of just 10 news stories viewable at one time. Unlimited usage is available with a premium account for around £20 per year. If you are a heavy user and want the extra features it is worth the upgrade for the small fee.

The Old Reader 

This alternative was actually built for the specific purpose of replacing Google Reader when it is finally shut down and therefore is built to be as close to Google Reader as possible.  Even some of the same keyboard shortcuts can be used with The Old Reader, and there are similar functions including allowing you to follow users and subscribe to user feeds. The one downside for the moment is the lack of mobile/tablet apps for this reader, but we are sure they will be in the pipeline in the near future, and for the time being if you want something almost identical to Google Reader, this is the alternative for you.


Formerly known as BlogRoll, MochaRoll is most attractive for its display and user friendly experience. The way it lays out your feed is attractive, with images from content taking centre stage, and the layout being similar to Pinterest, only for news and blogs. It is a great option for anyone wanting something simple and wanting to import their feeds straight from Google Reader.


If you are a Mac user and a fan of the Twitter feed layout, then Leaf is definitely an option for you. Be warned that it is not at all similar to Google Reader, so if you enjoyed that format then Leaf may take some getting used to, but if you are open to change and like Twitter then it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at.


If you are a business user looking for a reader that offers more professional functions than Google Reader, then NetVibes is ideal for you. Depending on whether you opt for the free or premium service, you can have access to data tracking and brand monitoring functions as well as all the typical options of a reader, all set out in a clean, simple and businesslike format.


Not strictly readers, but Twitter as a micro-blogging site and Google+ as a social sharing site should not be overlooked when it comes to keeping up with your favourite online influencers and interesting topical content. Making use of the hashtags and keyword search functions you can easily narrow down your feed on these social sites and keep up to date with the goings on of your preferred topic areas. 

If you like this story, do share and tweet me @annmariehanlon, and share with me your own thoughts on alternatives to Google Reader!

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