Posted: 2020-12-16 19:44:02

Substack launches RSS reader

From Andy Baio at
Originally published 2020-12-16
Substack Reader is launching as a beta, and it feels very much like a version one product. It presents a chronological list of every newsletter you’re subscribed to, and you can click on those entries to open them in a new window and read them. Right now, there’s no way to read stories inside of Substack Reader, like you can in a traditional RSS reader, and stories stay in your queue even after you’ve read them. (In-line reading is “something we are strongly considering for the future,” Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie wrote in an email to The Verge.)
RSS readers have traditionally struggled to gain a large enough audience for companies to keep supporting them. Google infamously shut down Google Reader in 2013; Digg launched Digg Reader in response the same year, then shut it down five years later. Substack seems to be thinking about its reader as a companion to its newsletters, more than as a competitor to full-on RSS readers like Feedly. Still, Best said he hopes to expand the audience for a reader app by making it “as easy and simple as it can possibly be to get started.”
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