Google Reader alternatives set for upgrade

Feedly and Old Reader announce plans for growth

Since Google Reader was discontinued two months ago, many of its fans have been searching for an alternative news aggregating service.

Two of the most popular options, Feedly and The Old Reader, have now announced improvements to their products, although each did so in markedly different ways.

Feedly unveils Pro version

In addition to its free service, Feedly will now offer users the chance to upgrade to a 'Pro' format that will offer a range of perks and extra features. At a cost of £3 a month or £30 a year, Pro users will see faster, easier search options and be placed at the head of the queue if they require customer support.

Feedly is keen to stress that it will still devote plenty of attention to the free version that has developed a sizeable following in the last two months. It attracted more than eight million new users in the wake of Google Reader's closure, tripling its previous total.

Fans have been reassured that the free version will see improvements and new features added, but some fans are understood to be disappointed that some of the features that were free in Google Reader will only be available to Pro users here.

Old Reader saved by mystery benefactor

Designed to very closely resemble Google's popular service, the Old Reader gained many fans who enjoyed the similarity between the two.

However, last month it was announced that Old Reader was to stop accepting new users, keeping only those who registered before Google announced the demise of its own product.

Developers Elena Bulygina and Dmitry Krasnoukhov indicated that an increased workload was behind the decision, saying they could not cope with the volume of new users.

Just a week later, there was a dramatic turnaround as an as yet unnamed backer stepped in to offer a solution. The Old Reader will now continue to be available to the public, with a team of employees looking after it and promises of new and improved features in the pipeline.

Rachel Hand, head of content at theEword, said: "The level of competition here shows how highly regarded these RSS feeds are as a source of news. Users are now starting to see that there could indeed be life after Google Reader."

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