Google Reader shuttered it’s windows on July 1st and in the months leading up to it, the most active Internet ambassadors had quite the meltdown. We started counting the number of “How to Move Your Feeds” and “Critiques of Google Reader Alternatives” posts being generated by active Internet types, but the number just got too high and we lost count. However, one thing was for sure: Talking about RSS feed readers was trendy from mid-March through the shutdown on July 1.
So which of the RSS alternatives will be the one that wins the loyalties of Google Reader users? Rather than covering the merits of each (the rest of the Internet took care of that for us), we’ve decided to take an informal Internet poll and infer the winner based on Google Trend data in our first installment of a bi-weekly series of TrendCast-ing.
To begin, let’s take a look at the full life of the phrase “Google Reader,” from the start of the collection of Google Trends data, 2005 through the present day.
One thing’s for sure: There’s no mystery as to why Google decided to let it go after the term peaked in 2011 for search volume. If this graph doesn’t illustrate the declining popularity of the old-fashioned web-reading format that is RSS, than this one, which displays Google Trends data for the term “rss” from 2005 to present, will absolutely do the trick:
But we digress, the intent of this TrendCast is to pick the winner based on their respective Google Trend data from January 2012 to present.
The first contender, often noted as one of the most popular, is Feedly. The more design-heavy RSS feeder’s Google Trends graph displays the initial shock and horror of Google Reader’s impending doom (illustrated by the point labeled B) as well as the last minute scramble to find a new reader at the end of June (illustrated by point A), which was almost as high as the initial shock:
The second contender, typically preferred by some of the more “old school” Internet types, is the Old Reader. It showed similar patterns to Feedly, but slightly less of a last minute spike in momentum as the final days of Google Reader closed in:
Next is an interesting contender because they didn’t actually have an RSS feed reader to begin with, but upon hearing of Google’s plans, decided to develop one in an attempt to remain relevant. Digg’s graph looks drastically different because they didn’t benefit from the huge boost of the other already established readers that saw major bumps right after the reader announcement. In fact, when Digg announced that they were building a reader in late March, they saw only a minor increase in trend data, as is illustrated by the point labeled “B” on the trends graph:
The final contender we’re looking at for the purposes of this TrendCast is Newsblur, which was endorsed by The Guardian’s Dave Null as a possible contender for those who didn’t like Feedly’s functionality. He managed to claim one of the top Search Results for “alternatives to Google Reader,” which, judging by the sheer volume of posts by the same name, is quite the accomplishment. Here is its trend data:
So who’s the winner in the battle of RSS feed supremacy following the demise of Google Reader, as judged solely by Google Trends data?
We’re giving the first place prize to Feedly for the size of their late-switchers boom and for the simple fact that they were the most poised and ready with content and support of all of the RSS feed readers on the current market.
Second place honors will be shared by Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit. We realize that these were not included in the TrendCast analysis and are basing this finding solely on the graph above that demonstrated the declining trending interest in the term “RSS,” which looks almost opposite of this trend data for “social media:”
While we’re on the topic of social media, might it be appropriate to inject a shameless plug to follow ours for future blog posts and insights into online marketing, web development and mobile application development? Great. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn now! Oh, and for you old fashioned types, add us to your chosen RSS feed reader by clicking here.
See what I did there? Smooth, right?
And with that, we close our first episode of TrendCast. Check back bi-weekly for our analysis of current and relevant Google Trends and our commentary on what to look for in upcoming trends across the Internet.