Google Reader is dead, so we rebuilt it for you in Zite (in six hours)

We at Zite were sad to hear about Google Reader’s impending demise.  Google Reader and Zite have always been complementary products: GR providing news from sources you’ve subscribed to manually and Zite giving you news algorithmically-targeted from the whole web.

Since Google Reader is dying, we created a replacement in Zite that doesn’t depend on Google’s infrastructure.  From start to finish, in six hours.

How it works

First, link your Google Reader account by visiting Explore (or during initial set up)

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You’ll find a section called ‘Google Reader Feeds’ in your Quicklist.  (If it doesn’t appear, kill the app and restart)

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Screenshot 2013.03.14 18.05.55

Zite was able to pull this together so quickly because of how our backend works.

  1. Google Reader has always been part of Zite – users have always had the option of adding their Google Reader account to tell our personalization algorithms which sources they prefer and what types of stories they like to read.
  2. Zite ingests millions of articles each day from hundreds of thousands of sources.
  3. Zite has deep personalization technology that can analyze user reading habits and pick the best stories from their Google Reader instead of getting inundated with hundreds of articles.

Note that this is a basic feed reading only.  There are definitely some limitations:

  • The “Google Reader” section will only appear after you’ve restarted the app or added another category (something we’ll fix in the near future)
  • Not every RSS feed is currently indexed by us, which is something we’ll be working on.
  • There’s no way to edit your feeds (something we hope to add an interface for, probably on the Web)
  • No folder support (we’re thinking about the best way to implement or eliminate the need for folders)
  • No ongoing syncing with Google Reader (you can force a sync by re-linking, though)
  • No prominent count of unread articles (just kidding, this is a feature!)

We know there’s a lot more to do to improve this functionality within Zite, but we’re excited that we’ve been able to build something so quickly for disgruntled Google Reader users and look forward to adding more features.  Please let us know what you want to see by e-mailing


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