The Old Reader

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The Old Reader
The Old Reader logo.png
Logo used until February 2017
Type of site
news aggregator
Available inEnglish, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Greek, Slovene, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish, Chinese[1]
OwnerLevee Labs[2]
Launched12 June 2012; 10 years ago (2012-06-12)[4]
Current statusOnline
Written inRuby on Rails[5]

The Old Reader is a web-based news aggregator that delivers website, blog, and other Internet content to a web-based inbox. The service sprung up when Google removed social features from Google Reader;[6][7] the site supports social media sharing, including the ability to "like" content, and find friends via social media networks.


The Old Reader was started as a hobby project by Olena Bulygina, Dmitry Krasnoukhov, and Anton Tolchanov. In March 2013, it had only 10,000 users, but it started gaining popularity quickly after Google announced that month that it would retire Google Reader.[8] By the end of April 2013, the project already had 200,000 users and Anton had to quit, leaving just Elena and Dmitry.[9]

In August 2013, a month after Google Reader was shut down, two remaining co-founders were struggling to keep The Old Reader running in the face of a large influx of new users. On July 29, The Old Reader team stated they had 420,000 registered users, with as many as 60,000 registrations in a single day.[10] The team announced their intention to close the public version of the reader, leaving only a private website for a limited number of people.[11][12][13][14] However, a few days later, another announcement stated that the website will remain public, with support from an unnamed "corporate entity in the United States".[15][16][17][18] In November 2013, the team mentioned that the new owner was Levee Labs.[3][2]

The new team invested in hardware upgrade and changed the hosting provider,[19] implemented a number of new features, including long-awaited browser bookmarklet.[20] The founders of the site had publicly rejected ad-based tactics to support the service;[21] the new team shares their vision, and in order to finance operations for the otherwise free application introduced a Premium service in February 2014.[22]


The Old Reader is free for up to 100 feeds and offers a Premium version with full-text search and up to 500 subscriptions and 1 year of post storage. Former users of Google Reader or other RSS readers can import feeds via OPML export.[23] A browser bookmarklet lets users send web pages directly to The Old Reader account.

The service is integrated with Facebook or Google to help users find friends also using the site.[24] There is also support for Readability, Instapaper, and Spritz, a service to help read content faster.[25]

Mobile applications[edit]

The Old Reader has made its mobile API freely available to facilitate support for mobile applications.[26] The service is supported by a number of mobile applications for all major platforms, including Reeder[27] and Feeddler[28] for iOS, Greader for Android[29] (no longer available as of 2018[30]), Old Reader for Windows Phone[31] and ThOR for Symbian.[32]


The Old Reader's reception was generally positive. PC Magazine praised its simple design and social aspects, but noted it lacked some of the features of its competitors.[33] Dave Winer, one of the creators of RSS and other technology pundits have praised The Old Reader team's commitment to open web standards and delivering ad-free services,[citation needed] although as of 17 March 2015 the service includes "sponsored posts" inline with aggregated content.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Localizations for The Old Reader". GitHub. 21 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b Ben Wolf (20 November 2013). "RSS and the Open Web". The Old Reader blog.
  3. ^ a b "Levee Labs". Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  4. ^ Elena Bulygina (12 June 2012). "Thank you note". The Old Reader blog.
  5. ^ "May 1 release is here!". The Old Reader blog. 5 January 2013.
  6. ^ Fabian A. Scherschel (26 May 2013). "Replacing Google Reader". The H.
  7. ^ Alan Henry (17 March 2013). "Five Best Google Reader Alternatives". Lifehacker.
  8. ^ Christopher J. Miller (19 March 2013). "Ukrainian trio's 'Old Reader' alternative to Google Reader". Kyiv Post.
  9. ^ "It's this time of the year again: a long post from Elena". The Old Reader blog. 25 April 2013.
  10. ^ Nathan Olivarez-Giles (29 June 2013). "The Old Reader RSS app closes registration after months of 'hell'". TheVerge. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  11. ^ Elena Bulygina; Dmitry Krasnoukhov (29 July 2013). "Desperate times call for desperate measures". The Old Reader blog.
  12. ^ Victoria McNally (30 June 2013). "The Old Reader Might Go Private and Boot Out All Google Reader Refugees Next Month". Geekosystem.
  13. ^ Emil Protalinski (29 July 2013). "The Old Reader to close public site in two weeks, users who joined before Google Reader axing news can stay". The Next Web.
  14. ^ Eric Limer (29 July 2013). "Even Google Reader Replacements Are Shutting Down". Gizmodo.
  15. ^ Ben Wolf (3 August 2013). "The New Old Reader". The Old Reader blog.
  16. ^ Carly Page (5 August 2013). "Google Reader alternative The Old Reader will stay open to the public". The Inquirer. Archived from the original on August 10, 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  17. ^ Jonah Feldman (5 August 2013). "The Old Reader Will Stay Open Thanks To Unidentified Benefactor". Geekosystem.
  18. ^ Emil Protalinski. "The Old Reader lives: Site will stay open to the public thanks to an unnamed 'corporate entity' in the US". The Next Web.
  19. ^ "The Old Reader's Big Move". The Old Reader blog. 5 August 2013.
  20. ^ "Add and share any web page with The Old Reader!". The Old Reader blog. 17 July 2014.
  21. ^ Elena Bulygina; Dmitry Krasnoukhov; Anton Tolchanov (14 March 2013). "Unexpected day: what are we gonna do about Google Reader death? Keep calm and carry on". The Old Reader blog.
  22. ^ Emil Protalinski (12 February 2014). "The Old Reader launches Premium version for users with more than 100 feeds: $3 per month or $30 per year". The Next Web.
  23. ^ "The Old Reader". The Old Reader.
  24. ^ "The Old Reader Privacy Policy". The Old Reader.
  25. ^ "Spritz Integration". The Old Reader blog. 15 May 2014.
  26. ^ "theoldreader/api". Github.
  27. ^ Silvio Rizzi. "Reeder for iOS". Reeder.
  28. ^ John D Carmack (17 July 2013). "Updated Review of Feeddler and The Old Reader as Replacement for Google Reader". John D's Computer Services.
  29. ^ Adam Yamada (29 August 2013). "Greader is The Old Reader Android app & Mobile Browser experience is Sweet".
  30. ^ Ryan Whitwam (24 August 2018). "Popular RSS app gReader vanishes from the Play Store". Android Police.
  31. ^ Ewan Spence (8 October 2013). "Windows Phone client for The Old Reader reaches v3.0". All About Windows Phone.
  32. ^ Steve Litchfield (20 August 2013). "ThOR debuts, brings The (new!) Old Reader to Symbian". AllAboutSymbian. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  33. ^ Jill Duffy (22 June 2013). "The Old Reader". PcMag. Retrieved 19 January 2014.

External links[edit]