Technological changes can sometimes throw a curve in your local internet marketing strategy, forcing you to make adjustments. Google’s tools are so widely used and integrated with other Google products can have a major impact on users, developers, and marketers. Google Reader users will soon be forced to find a new home for their RSS feed content, but that doesn’t mean the end of feeds as we know them. One reason for the shutdown may have been users’ predilection for Google News, a tool that aggregates all of the top news stories according to users’ preferences.
Fortunately, several other websites have stepped up with similar tools. For local businesses, there’s no need to cut back on your RSS content. In fact, the attention that the Google Reader shutdown brings might encourage your customers to receive your updates through RSS feeds.
The Emergence of Feedly
For RSS app developers, the end of Google Reader is more disappointing. It means that they will no longer have access to the Google Reader API, making it more difficult to switch to alternative software. However, Feedly is working with RSS app developers to convert the Reader content to its new platform before Reader is completely shut down. If all goes well, users won’t notice any differences or interruptions, and they’ll be able to access the new feed service from mobile apps as well as desktop computers.
After Google announced it would be shutting Reader down, more than 3 million users signed up for Feedly, a definitive sign that Feedly is the likely successor to Reader. Digg.com is also working to start its own feed service, but its tool is still in the works. However, Digg has the resources needed to build a successful program, so we could see more development from Digg in the future.
Several other groups have attempted to fill the void that Reader will leave, but the majority of these tools are web-based and don’t come with mobile apps.
What It Means for Marketers
Feedly is working to improve upon the RSS feed service that Google Reader offered. In addition to the conversion, Feedly has plans to make its tools more friendly to businesses and content providers. It reportedly plans to provide Feedly buttons for websites and tools to make it easier for content providers to publish their information.
Keep Your Standards High
No matter the platform, it’s still as important as ever for local marketing experts to continue to provide relevant, engaging online content. Keeping that in mind will help your business grow even as tools and technologies evolve.