Services & Software

AOL to jump into RSS-reader fray a week before Google ducks out

AOL Reader, coming Monday, inserts the company among the likes of Feedly and Digg that are jockeying to pick up users cast off by Google's shuttering service.

Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

For something as sedate as RSS readers, Google's competition is getting fired up.

AOL plans to launch its own AOL Reader Monday, which will focus at first on being fast and simple, according to a person familiar with the matter at AOL.

The entry will be one week before Google Reader is scheduled to go dark. The service is supposed to close July 1, the search giant announced in March.

Keeping it simple at first is a similar strategy to rivals, which have had to keep goals narrow to roll out quickly before Google Reader closes.

A landing page for a beta version describes the service as one that serves up "all your favorite Web sites, in one place."

But the AOL effort joins a scuffle of other Google Reader wannabes that are jockeying to capitalize on Google's exit. Feedly has been refreshing its site, which is compatible with all major browsers, with a new interface that doesn't require plug-ins or browser extensions.

Digg is planning to roll out a new RSS service by Wednesday that will let users import from Google and will have basic functions to appeal to power users. It also expects to debut more-sophisticated functions down the line.

Speculation has also arisen that Facebook is exploring a reader.

The Next Web first reported the landing page for the AOL beta service.