Brands

The 4 Best Social Readers for Tracking Industry News

By Jillian Richardson June 4th, 2014

According to Chartbeat, over 92,000 articles are posted online each day, prompting over one billion minutes of engaged time. How on Google Earth are you possibly supposed to keep up with all of that?

Luckily, some online wizards have created social news readers that bring all of the content that’s important to you to one place.

After much Internet sifting, I’ve collected a list of readers that you should add to your virtual arsenal. Bonus: There are pros and cons! (Everyone loves pros and cons.) I thought I’d shorten your decision making process a little, and maybe even slim down those 1 billion minutes.

1. Feedly

Many people are already familiar with Feedly because it can sync up with Google’s now-defunct RSS feed, Google Reader. (For reference, RSS stands for rich site simplifier or, in layman’s terms, really simple syndication.)

However, Feedly’s interface is easily navigable for any user, even if you were never a Google Reader fan.

Pros

  • Available on iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Windows phone, Mac, Blackberry—the list goes on. Whatever you’ve got, you can use Feedly.
  • Integrated into over 100 third-party apps like Newsify, Byline, and Newsfeed.
  • Users can search content by title, topic, or URL.
  • Great interface for all you visual people out there.
  • Integrated Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Cons

  • Although there’s a free version, users have to pay for access to all features.
  • While Feedly can search through blog posts, it’s currently unable to pull multimedia content, like videos or parallax features.
  • Blogs are not listed alphabetically.
  • The home page includes featured Facebook and Twitter feeds that you might not be interested in.
2. Bloglovin’

I’m a personal user of Bloglovin’. One of my favorite features is the daily or weekly email that it sends to subscribers with a list of suggested posts from the blogs they follow. It’s an easy way to check up on the blogosphere without wasting time scrolling through uninteresting posts. (And it’s prime for catching up on pictures of Ryan Gosling, aka brushing up on your content strategy puns.)

Pros

  • Sends daily or weekly emails with suggested blog posts.
  • Blogs listed in alphabetical order. (Yay order!)
  • Blogs can be organized into folders, e.g., work-related blogs, fitness blogs, recipes, etc.
  • All unread posts are available in one feed, with arrows to scroll through articles.
  • Posts can be favorited to read later.
  • Mobile app available for iPhone and Android.

Cons

  • Only sends users content from blogs that they are already following.
  • Google Reader starred items are not transferrable.
3. ContentGems

ContentGems is different from Bloglovin’ and Feedly because it collects articles from websites that you don’t subscribe to. Instead, it hunts down the best content based off of keywords that you provide. As a result, you’ll discover interesting and relevant posts from fresh sources, without all of the Googling.

Pros

  • Updates almost in real-time.
  • Email digest sent to your inbox.
  • Ability to share directly to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, WordPress and more.
  • Monitors 200,000 RSS feeds—that’s a whole lot of content!
  • Can group interests into folders.

Cons

  • Users have to pay for the premium version. (Hey, they need to make money somehow!)
4. Protopage

Protopage puts a social spin on content aggregation, connecting users with sites like Instagram and Pinterest. This feature is especially useful if you’re in the fashion, food, fitness, or the mirror-selfie industry.

Pros

  • Has a fun, easy to understand dashboard layout.
  • Users can add their own widgets like sticky notes and to-do lists.
  • Page features are draggable and customizable.

Cons

  • Widget options are limited.
  • Widgets are not usually specialized.

Once you’ve mastered the news reader that’s right for you, your never-ending quest for content ideas will become exponentially easier, and as a result, you’ll be to tell much more interesting and unique stories that keep your readers coming back.

Curious about even more social news readers? Check out this list and search to your heart’s content.

Image via Call For Bushwick

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