Bloglines Tops Online Feedreader Choices

    January 19, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

If visitors to your website choose to add your feed to their web-based reader of choice, they probably have that feed added to’s Bloglines service.

Bloglines Tops Online Feedreader Choices
Which Feedreader Do You Use?

RSS feeds make it possible for a webmaster to ensure that followers of a particular website can keep up with the site’s updates. Going from website to blog to news site becomes cumbersome when you have a lot of them bookmarked; being able to gather them in a feedreader makes much more sense.

Hitwise analyst LeeAnn Prescott discussed what the numbers look like for users of web-based feed readers, and found that Bloglines easily led a group of five she examined.

Prescott’s analysis does not take portal-based options like My Yahoo, or client-side software like Newsgator’s NetNewsWire, into account here. Web-based feedreaders offer the utility of being available anywhere an Internet connection can be tapped.

Those sites focus on the feedreading experience entirely. New implementations and features have to benefit that experience, lest the site lose users to competing destinations.

Bloglines topped the list in terms of market share of US visits. It has triple the market share of visits to Rojo, which combines elements of social media with its feedreading capabilities.

Google Reader has languished in terms of traffic, and that has been a common affliction for Google’s services beyond search. Prescott noted Google Reader has seen recent growth, but for the week ended January 13th it had one-thirteenth of Bloglines’ market share.

But people still have website visits ingrained as a habit. Prescott looked at the market share of web visits for a trio of popular destinations: Perez Hilton, Huffington Post, and Engadget. Their shares easily dwarfed those of the online feedreaders, leading Prescott to make a couple of conclusions:

1) RSS usage, while growing, is still a niche activity and mainstream adoption is still a ways off, and 2) the most successful blogs are being consumed in the standard Web 1.0 fashion – by visiting the websites. These blogs have become destination sites for their readers and have an active community of commenters, which encourages website visits.

Bloglines and Google Reader both have mobile capabilities, extending their usefulness and availability beyond the typical desktop setup. As more people find the pressing need to have information at their fingertips from as many sources as possible, we think the mobile side of feedreading should gain in importance.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.