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Is it the end of the road for FeedReaders in India?

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"If you are in India and can use internet, you have to have an orkut account" - this is an unwritten rule. Almost everyone in India (a lot many below 18 years of age as well, which is against the T&C) has an orkut account. That is why orkut is now the second most visited website in India after Yahoo.

Today, orkut launched a new feedreader feature in orkut. This allows you to add blog and website feeds you follow so that you may directly read these feeds from orkut.

Does this mean that with the launch of this feature, it is virtually the end of the road for the feedreaders in India?

RSS Awareness

One huge pro that I see with the introduction of this feature is the awareness about RSS to the common internet surfer. For all the hype around how simple internet has become after RSS, a majority of them do not know or use RSS. It is still the tech-savvy users who still use feed readers. Now that people will come to know that you can read blogs via orkut, the awareness about feed syndication is going to proliferate.

Are Feed Readers out?

As the existing bloggers promote their friends in orkut to follow their blog via the feedreader, I see the general readership increasing for blogs. But, we should remember that while people add feeds, they might not actually follow them. This could turn out to be another feature like the orkut communities where not everyone frequents though everyone on orkut has quite a list of communities subscribed to.

The bottom line however is that this feature WILL increase the awareness about RSS feeds. There are quite a good number of feedreaders on the web today that are way better than what orkut has to offer that the introduction of this feature shall only open up the gates for many more people to subscribe to the other popuar feedreaders.

This then boils down to the feedreaders which rank top on the Search Engines and on the word-of-mouth. Because these are the two avenues the new feed reader will use to find a feedreader which is better than what orkut has to offer.


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