Google’s decision to axe its popular RSS feed reader (aptly named Google Reader) is old news now. Instead, the race seems to be on for companies to create alternatives that people actually want to use. Feedbin, Feedly and – more recently – Feed Wrangler have all launched news readers. But, perhaps the greatest anticipation is to see exactly what Digg has up its sleeve.
Digg surveyed thousands of people to find out exactly what the market needed and wanted. And – more importantly – whether they’d be willing to pay for it. Turns out, just over 40% of respondents would be happy to pay for the RSS service. The company plans to release the first beta version in June, just before Google Reader’s official shutdown the month afterwards. It’s pretty certain that it won’t be a free app. But, just how the company plans on charging its users is unclear right now.
As reported by CNET, a Digg blog post reads:
“Free products on the Internet don’t have a great track record. They tend to disappear, leaving users in a lurch,” according to the blog post. “We need to build a product that people can rely on and trust will always be there for them. We’re not sure how pricing might work, but we do know that we’d like our users to be our customers, not our product. So when we asked survey participants whether or not they would be willing to pay, we were pleased to see that over 40 percent said yes.”
Personally, I’m happy. Although handing over my cash is always a little uncomfortable. I’m less at ease having a free product from Google, knowing that it’ll use my personal trends and information to make money from me in other ways.
Let’s hope Digg’s new service comes with a kick-ass iPhone app too. That’d be just swell.