You definitely know that Google is killing Google Reader. You’ve either seen or been part of the outrage. Google will be officially shuttering their popular (but not popular enough) product on July 1st, but as you would expect they’re slowly removing its presence to help ease us all into the transition.
And you probably know that Digg is working to build a replacement. They announced this literally hours after Google made their announcement that they were killing the product. Digg has said from the start that they want to build something that’s fast and simple, and could serve as a true replacement for Google Reader.
Today, Digg has published the results of a survey they sent out to over 17,000 people (8,000+ responses so far), which sought to uncover exactly what people want in the upcoming Digg Reader.
And here’s the most important finding:
What you’re looking at it a word cloud, charting the responses to the question “if there’s one thing you could remove from Google Reader, what would it be?”
Nothing. Google Reader users don’t want anything more. They just want Google Reader. Or, since the second-most tracked word was “google,” they simply want a Reader that functions exactly like Google Reader – with or without Google’s hand.
The survey feedback also uncovered some stats about RSS reader users, like most subscribe to a good number of feeds (roughly 70% subscribe to more than 51) and 80% check their feeds multiple times a day. Nearly 80% said that they use Google Reader for both work and play, and over 40% said that Google Reader is the only RSS reader that they use (the nest most popular feed reader was Feedly).
Some of the feedback gave Digg an idea of what was most important to include in their upcoming reader. For instance, 67% said that they use keyboard shortcuts in Google Reader at least some of the time. That prompted Digg to proclaim that those are “definitely on the list.”
On the flip side, there was search:
“This was an interesting data point. While 25% reported never using search, over just over half said that they sometimes do. Search is a huge investment in terms of development time and infrastructure costs. We don’t yet know if we’ll have the necessary infrastructure up and running in time for our initial beta launch, but it’s definitely on the roadmap,” says Digg.
There’s definitely going to be a hole in the market for a Google Reader-like reader come July 1st when it all goes dark – even with other options already available. Whether or not Digg can step up into that role remains to be seen. Let’s think positively.