After Google announced its decision to shut down the Google Reader RSS feeder, the outcry was substantial. Devoted users were left to find a new tool and a number of competitors attempted to fill the void left by Google Reader’s demise. Feedly quickly became a popular option, but we also saw Digg and others enter the ring.
One such service in European part of the world is Flowreader, which was created by Czech developer Wikidi and launched in June 2013. It is a bit more than an RSS reader though, as they allow users to incorporate their Twitter and Facebook feeds (and post to these sites).
In order to use the service, users can sign-in with their Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ accounts. Once in, you have the option of importing RSS feeds by OPML file or adding additional Facebook and Twitter accounts. I was told by a representative from the company that they are planning to expand their RSS, Twitter, and Facebook functionality over the next year and are looking to incorporate other services, depending on available APIs.
One of the more interesting features of this service is the “social” button, which offers a look at your social-media feeds (similar to what you might find in Hootsuite).
Flowreader does not release figures regarding the number of users that the service has, but I did learn that their users follow 550K unique feeds and Flowreader gathers roughly 1 million new articles per day. The service is currently completely free, but they are reportedly considering adopting a freemium model to monetize the service at some point in the future. In addition to Flowreader, Wikidi has developed the automated website-testing tool Testomato and Brandiozo, a backend image-recognition tool for recognizing brands in photos.
The primary competitors in this market are arguably Feedly, The Old Reader, and Feedspot. Feedly is the most established and the only service with mobile apps, but Flowreader stands out with its “social” angle. Flowreader offers the basic service that you would expect to find in an RSS reader, but their dedication to social is what makes it a solid alternative for those wanting to find all of their “news” in one place.