Facebook linked to Google Reader replacement

By James Riches topicIcon Internet News

Social network offers no comment on Reader rumours

With just two weeks to go until Google Reader is gone for good, reports have linked Facebook with a move to create a replacement service.

Since Google announced in March that it would be discontinuing the popular RSS feed, users have been on the lookout for a new service. Many options have either been made available or put in production, such as Feedly, the Old Reader and Summly.

The latter was created by London teenager Nick D'Aloisio and bought by Yahoo! for £18 million, and now Facebook is apparently looking to get in on the act.

While the company has declined to comment on the rumours, some developers have noticed mentions of RSS feeds in the site's code. Further attempts to investigate have been foiled due to a lack of security access, but speculation has grown as Reader enters its final few days.

Covering old ground

The idea of an RSS feed is not new for Facebook. It tried a 'subscribe' button in 2011, but this was replaced by a 'follow' function soon after.

However, with many users posting links to news stories on their timeline, it may see this as the ideal opportunity to try again.

If so, it will be just one of many services attempting to get noticed on July 1, as Google Reader fans search for an alternative place to get their news.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: "Since we found out Google Reader was set to close, there has been plenty of interest in possible alternatives. There were already plenty of options out there before Facebook entered the frame, so they'll need to do something interesting with the concept to attract users."