Digg Reader Beta is not yet ready for prime time

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 28, 2013

I received my Digg Reader invite earlier this day and immediately went to the website to check it out. First thing that you need to do is link Reader with your Google Account to import your Google Reader feed list. It is not clear what users do that do not use Google Reader, but I suppose they will have to do the same but end up with 0 imported feeds after the process.

This in itself can be problematic as you cannot import opml files into Digg Reader at the moment. While it is possible to add individual feed urls or browse curated categories such as Internet, Technology or Sports to add one or more of the suggested feeds to your reading list, it is not as comfortable as it could be.

Feed Management

If you have used Google Reader before you will notice that all of your feeds are listed on the left sidebar. Digg for whatever reason decided to display root folder feeds first before any folder that you may have created. What this means is that you may end up with a large list of uncategorized feeds at the top that take up valuable space.

In my particular case it means to scroll down dozens of pages before I reach my folder structure that I can work with. Since there is no "Go to end" option it is not really usable at the time of writing.

An option to manage feeds is missing as well which could help overcome the issue. Just move all root feeds into a folder and be done with them. There is however no option to do so comfortably. While it is possible to create a new folder and use drag and drop to move feeds into it, it needs to be done for each feed individually. I do have more than 1000 feeds in the root folder which would mean that I would spend the better half of the day dragging and dropping feeds around.

There is also no option to hide feeds or folders with no new contents which should really be introduced as well as soon as possible by the team.


The reading pane displays feeds one per line resembling how Google Reader displayed feeds in its interface. The name of the publisher, title of the article and time it has been published are all listed here. Depending on how much screen space you have, you may also see the first words of the article itself listed here.

You can switch to expanded view right away which displays all feeds in their entirety on the screen. This can be useful if you plan to read every news item in a particular folder or of a site you are interested in. If you prefer to get a quick overview over what is new and hot, then this is probably not the best option though.

Readability of articles displayed in Digg Reader is great on the other hand. Articles are displayed inline and not as pop-outs as on several other RSS reading services.

Once you have opened an article is is marked read automatically in the reader, but articles are not marked read if you scroll by them so that you need to take care of that manually for now. You can use the mark read button for that for instance.

Articles can be saved to the account, shared on Twitter or Facebook, or voted for using the company's Digg service.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Digg Reader supports keyboard shortcuts, many of which are copied over from Google Reader so that you do not have to learn new shortcuts to get started. There is however no help file or onscreen help available at the time of writing that highlights the shortcuts and their functionality.

  • j go to next article in line, open it and mark it as read.
  • k go to previous article in line, open it and mark it as read.
  • r refresh
  • n go down to the next article in line without opening it.
  • p go up to the previous article in line without opening it.
  • space go to next article in line
  • o or enter expand or close the current article.
  • v load the source page in a new tab.
  • e email
  • d digg
  • s save to saved section


Digg Reader lacks other features like a search option to search your feeds. That's probably one of the biggest features missing right now but not the only one. There is no option yet to create filters for example and also no sort options, for example to sort by oldest entry instead of newest first in the listing.

A mobile version of the application is available for Apple's iOS operating system. A version for Android should be ready at the end of July according to Digg.


Digg Reader is in beta right now and it is very likely that it will improve over time. While it may prove to be sufficient for the feed reading needs of some users, most power-users, and the majority of Google Reader users certainly fall into that category, may feel that it lacks too many features to be a suitable alternative at the time of writing.

The idea to mix a feed reader with a news aggregation service such as Digg makes sense on the other hand, as both services can certainly benefit from the other.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  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 name.com 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.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.