Developer Tom Waddington, who has a history of finding stuff buried in Facebook’s code, has found something there that makes him believe that Facebook may be looking to throw its hat in the Google Reader replacement ring.
Is Facebook working on a RSS Reader of their own?
Waddington spotted some mentions of RSS feeds in Facebook’s code. It’s a pretty timely spot, considering Google is about to shutter the most popular RSS reader (but not popular enough, obviously) on July 1st.
Here’s how he describes it:
A new entry appeared – now users have RSS feeds, each RSS feed has multiple entries, and a list of subscribers. What’s surprising is that the code mentions RSS specifically, and distinctly from existing interest lists and friend lists. Also, note that this is unconnected to Facebook outputting RSS feeds, which they’ve done for a while.
Facebook has let users “subscribe” to the posts of users and pages for some time. And in the distant past, you could also subscribe via RSS to page content. But a true RSS reader? That’s never been Facebook’s game.
Google’s on the way out of that game, though. There are currently plenty of other RSS readers looking to pick up the pieces when Google Reader officially crumbles and sends users scavenging for a lifeline. Also, Digg is on the verge of unveiling it’s supposed Google Reader replacement. Until now, the was the biggest name involved in the RSS right. If Facebook joined the party, it would be a big, big deal.