Social Reader

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“Social Reader” may refer to the Washington Post Social Reader (formerly available at, or may be used to describe a more general category of social news reading applications.

List of popular Social Readers[edit]

Washington Post Social Reader[edit]

The Washington Post might be considered the pioneer of social reading applications. The newspaper's WaPo Labs team launched Washington Post Social Reader for Facebook on September 22, 2011.[1] On January 22, 2014 Social Reader was rebranded as Trove and launched a new app for iPhone and iPad.[2]

Guardian Social Reader[edit]

The Guardian was the next major news publishing portal that joined the race. Guardian Social Reader was announced on Friday 23 September 2011.[3] As the ground was already set by Washington Post Social Reader, it took The Guardian a very small time to reach its audience on Facebook. Within the six months of the launch of application, the monthly active users for Guardian Social Reader have reached a figure of 5.9 million, with more than 2.9 million joining in the first two months of 2012. The Guardian has also launched the same reader application for smartphones, including Android, iPhone and iPad.

Falling popularity[edit]

In May 2012, it was observed that the popularity of Social Reader apps had fallen considerably since they were introduced. The Washington Post Social Reader, having once had 17 million monthly users, had fallen below 10 million, and The Guardian, having once had almost 600,000 users a day, had fallen below 100,000.[4] This is thought to have been caused by a change in how Facebook displayed social reader information. "The initial drop was largely the result of a change in the way Facebook displayed social reader stories, which collapsed stories into a smaller, cycling module (the first social readers spit long lists of stories onto users' walls, which was both clumsy and widely reviled)."[5]


  1. ^ "The Washington Post Launches New Social Reader App on Facebook at f8 Developer Conference". Washington Post. 22 September 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ Goel, Vindu (22 January 2014), Trove Is a Treasure for News Junkies, The New York Times, retrieved February 5, 2014 
  3. ^ "Guardian Social Reader". London: Guardian. 23 September 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  4. ^ Herman, John. "Facebook Social Readers Are All Collapsing". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Herman, John. "The Facebook Social Reader Comeback". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 

External links[edit]