Feedly, big beneficiary of Google Reader demise, launches paid RSS service

Adds search, HTTPS, EverNote integration for $45 a year

Feedly today followed through on a promise earlier this year and launched a paid version of its RSS service.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of Google's decision to ditch its aged Reader and drop the RSS service that had powered virtually every third-party news reader, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Feedly said in April that it would kick off a paid version of its free service.

It did that today.

Dubbed Feedly Pro, the Web-based service adds search, letting users quickly find already-read articles; enables an HTTPS secure connection; provides one-click saving of articles to Evernote, the popular catch-all note-taking and organizing application; and puts users at the front of the support line.

Feedly will charge $5 per month or $45 annually for the pro service.

To jump-start the service -- and raise a half million dollars -- Feedly offered what it called a "lifetime edition" today for $99.99. It plans to limit the offer to the first 5,000 customers.

"The funds will finance the hardware needed to make Feedly Pro generally available and help support the next batch of features," Feedly said on the page promoting the paid version.

The lifetime deal is available today, but Feedly plans to launch the $45-per-year subscription later. The free version of the service will remain in place.

When Google announced in mid-March that it would kill Google Reader on July 1, Feedly became the preferred destination for millions of refugees because it was the first to promise users it would craft a homegrown clone of the Google Reader API (application programming interface).

As of May, the service had 12 million users.

Several third-party RSS desktop and mobile apps now use the Feedly API, including gReader (for Android; free or $4.99 for Pro version), Newsify (iOS; free), Nextgen Reader (Windows Phone, Windows 8; $1.99-$2.99), Reeder (iOS; $2.99) and Press (Android; $2.99).

The developers of those apps will be able to tap into the Pro features via the Feedly API, the company said today.

Feedly is also available on Android and iOS -- both apps are free -- and the company plans to add Pro support to those apps "shortly," the firm pledged.

Feedly launched a paid version of its popular RSS service today. It will charge $45 annually, but is offering a lifetime subscription for $99.99 to the first 5,000 who sign up. (Image: Feedly.)

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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