The Old Reader, a popular RSS service and alternative to Google Reader, last week revealed it would be closing its service to the public in two weeks. Soon after the backlash, there was hint of a stance reversal, and now it’s happened: The Old Reader will remain open to the public, thanks to a bigger team and ‘significantly more’ resources, both provided by a new corporate entity located in the US.
While details about this “corporate entity” are indeed scarce, we do know the announcement was authored by an individual named Ben Wolf. He promises his team consists of “big fans and users” of The Old Reader who want to help it “grow and improve for years to come” and who will be introduced properly in the coming weeks.
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Wolf says the original developers, Elena Bulygina and Dmitry Krasnoukhov, will still be a part of the team though it’s not clear for how long. The new team, the size of which is unknown, will be responsible for managing the project as well as expanding engineering, communications, and system administration.
As for the actual service, here’s what’s staying the same and what’s changing:
The Old Reader is going to retain all of its functionality and remain open to the public. Not only that, we’re going to do everything in our power to grow the user base which will only accentuate the things that make this application special. To facilitate these improvements, we’re going to be transitioning The Old Reader to a top tier hosting facility in the United States this coming week. It’s going to require some downtime and for that we sincerely apologize, but it’s also going to mean A LOT more servers, 10x faster networks, and long-term stability.
All in all, this sounds like good news. Less than a week ago, The Old Reader was planning to close its public site for the majority of its users and offer a private one for a select few, although new features (a faster refresh rate, more posts per feed, and properly working full-text search) were promised for these individuals. Now, everything will apparently remain the same, plus get better for everyone.
It’s worth noting that at the time of the original announcement, Bulygina and Krasnoukhov insisted they were not interested in charging for the service or raising money from VCs, but they were open to a third possibility: “If anyone is interested in acquiring The Old Reader and making it better, we are very open and accepting proposals at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
It appears they have found a parent company. While more details are being promised by said group, some users in the comment section are worried about the lack of information regarding who now controls their data. We’ll continue to keep you posted as we learn more.
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