CommaFeed aims to replace Google Reader

Alan Buckingham
May 16, 2013
Updated • Feb 15, 2014

Since the announcement of impending doom for Google Reader there has been a lot of activity in the RSS world. Services like Feedly have had to beef up server and bandwidth capacity, and other services like Feedspot have appeared on the scene. Even Digg has announced it is building a Reader replacement. Add to this storm one more alternative -- CommaFeed.

The latest app aims to simulate the Google program almost exactly and has built-in Reader import capability. You will first need to register for an account using a user name, your email address (optional for password recovery) and a chosen password. You can then choose to import your Google Reader feed, but if you wish to just explore the app first then, don't worry, the import can be done at anytime. You will also need to grant permission to the app accessing your Reader account, so there is a level of trust that needs to be granted here.

Import is fairly quick, and the service keeps all categories intact. Once imported, you have a two options for viewing posts in your feeds -- simply seeing the titles only, or a title along with a snippet of the post. There is also a Settings button at the top of the screen. This allows for only a few options, all enabled by default.

  • Show feeds and categories with no unread entries
  • Show social sharing buttons
  • In expanded view, scrolling through entries mark them as read

If you are feeling geeky, there is also an option to add your own custom CSS. This possible because the web app is open source, with all code available on GitHub.

A Subscribe button is found at the top of the feed column on the left side. As you hover your mouse over each feed, you will notice a tiny wrench icon appearing to the right of the name. Click on this and you will be able to get information on the URL and last refresh, plus change the name of the feed or the category where it is contained. You can also unsubscribe from this screen.

The service also offers extensions for both Chrome and Firefox, but using it as a website, as you did Google Reader, seems the simplest solution.


The app looks eerily similar to Google Reader. The only real beef I had with it was that, while it placed almost all feeds in alphabetical order, it dumped some at the end, effectively starting over at "A". I could find no way to correct this issue.

CommaFeed is in the very earliest stages of development so it is difficult to fault it for minor issues or glitches at this point. The fact is, it shows a lot of promise and potential. Let us see where the developers can take it.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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