Google just announced an RSS feature for Google Chrome that’d allow users to follow blogs with ease. This is like a very tiny, limited part of the deal that was Google Reader, before Google ended service with the RSS aggregator in the year 2013 after approximately 8 years of service to the public. Now Google is once again “building on the open RSS web standard.”
Google Reader is dead and it’s never coming back (in name, anyway) but RSS lives! According to Paul Bakaus, Creator and Developer Advocate at Google, “We’ve heard it loud and clear: Discovery and distribution is lacking on the open web, and RSS hasn’t been “mainstream consumer” friendly.” As such, they’re testing a new feature in Chrome.
The new feature in Chrome is an “experimental new way, powered by RSS, to follow creators with one click.” In the first iteration of this feature, in Chrome, there’ll be a new menu item at the bottom of the (three dots) button list in the upper right-hand corner of the browser. The button should show the name of the blog and a “+ Follow” button.
Once a site (a site with an RSS feed, most likely a blog) is followed, entries from said site will appear in the Chrome browser’s “New Tab” page. That’s essentially the same as what Google Reader used to be – though super, super simplified.
Wouldn’t it be great if a social network, like Twitter, would just go ahead and add a feature like this to their already-running system of follows and shares? That’d be great, wouldn’t it?
As noted by Bakaus, this is “only the beginning of a bigger exploration.” Google is asking for input on the feature through the Google Web Creators Twitter account. If you’d like to use this new feature, you’ll need to download Chrome Canary from Google Play. Per Google, “in the coming weeks, some Android users in the US on Chrome Canary may see an experimental Follow feature designed to help people get the latest content from sites they follow.”