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. Michal said on May 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I have found this one and seems to be good:

  2. Jim said on May 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    It was posted to reddit as well and has been suffering from high load since then. Hopefully they’ll overcome that.

  3. Fallout Boy said on May 17, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Finally ONE service, that keeps the simple design of Google Reader! Thanks Alan!

  4. trender256 said on May 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    As a long-time user of Google Reader,
    I tried several alternative readers:
    Feedly, OldReader,
    and more recently used NetVibes.

    But I finaly settled on INOREADER,
    the most similar to Google Reader, with nice extra features
    and Keyword SEARCH,
    (Feedly, OldReader and Netvibes DO NOT have favorite posts SEARCH,
    which for me, is critical)….

    I really like it!
    Clean & functional – like the old G Reader…
    Try it for yourself, and share your opinion.

    I have absolutely NO relationship
    with INOREADER or its author,
    I just think it’s very good & deserves mentioning here.

  5. Gautam Sampathkumar said on May 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Guys,

    If what you want is the ability to skim large #s of headlines, organize lots of feeds, label them, tag articles for later reading in one fast unobtrusive “no magazine layout” reader, SwarmIQ is your choice.
    Sign up at , click on the Google reader icon to get all your feeds, and get up and running straight away.
    Disclosure: I’m on the team that built this site :-) Also, we don’t have “Google Alerts” type functionality yet.

    1. Coyote said on May 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Does it do inline articles? Google reader along with the better reader extension used to allow this, but over the years something broke and the extension doesn’t work anymore.

  6. Robert Palmar said on May 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Does keeping all categories intact mean starred and tagged categories too?
    From what I understand only Feedly can import those and that is not seamless.

  7. Paulo said on May 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    In terms of speed and simplicity, it is really good.
    Thanks for the tip.

    1. Chris Sturdivant said on May 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      @Paulo : In terms of speed and simplicity, I’ve found eldonreader. You should try it!

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