When you see Google reining something in it causes a little confusion. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), the behemoth of search, has moved into wearable technology, self-driving cars, smartphone and tablet operating systems. As an avid RSS user, I was surprised when Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that it would shut down Google Reader, a program I used every day for years. Millions of people were forced to accommodate this strategic shift, and many looking at the numbers choose Feedly. To Google’s credit the shift to Feedly was seamless and easy.
Earlier this month, Feedly unveiled its Pro version, but limited it to the first 5000 people who were willing to pay $99 for a lifetime subscription. That number proved nothing for the company, as it saw the 5000 subscriptions sold in less than eight hours. “The funds from that campaign helped us invest in the infrastructure and customer support needed to make Feedly pro generally available,” the company said.
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Yesterday saw Feedly offer its Pro service to the rest of us. The Pro version is being sold at $5 per month, or $45 for a year’s worth of the new product.
This first version Feedly Pro features included the ability to read feeds over secure HTTPS connections, article search, premium support, and integration with the Evernote for saving data. Feedly, however, quickly changed its course and added HTTPS support to the free version while adding Pocket support to the premium version.
Feedly has made it clear that it won’t stop there and intends to continue offering additional features to Feedly Pro given this new revenue stream. It had been rumored that Feedly would look for investors but may now remain wholly independent if sales of Feedly Pro go as expected.
“New pro features will be added regularly. The goal is to offer our most passionate users more productivity and make Feedly sustainable in the long run,” the company said. “A more sustainable company will lead to more innovation for users of both Feedly pro and Feedly standard.”
For serious users of RSS/ATOM feeds, Feedly seems to have made the necessary step in order to become the industry standard in RSS readers, something that Google had done well for some time.