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March 16, 2013

Google's RSS Subscription Extension, Removed From Chrome Web Store

Update (March 19): The extension is back, but Google Reader and iGoogle have been removed from the list of default feed readers. Apparently, the extension was removed by mistake. {via François}

Three years ago I tried to convince the Chrome team that it makes sense to add native support to feeds. At that time, Google built an extension that showed feed previews and allowed you to subscribe to feeds. The explanation for building an extension instead of implementing the feature in Chrome was simple:

"This decision was made based on our philosophy of trying to limit ourselves to adding only the UI features that a vast majority of users need and allow each user to customize the browsers to fit their needs with Extensions. Given that most people are not familiar with and don't consume RSS feeds, we thought that RSS support would be a better fit as an extension, at least to begin with."

In 5 months, more than 300,000 people installed the extension. More than 1,600 people starred a feature request for implementing RSS detection natively. Chrome still doesn't have this feature and the extension released in 2010 has been removed from the Chrome Web Store a few days ago. The issue is that the extension used Google Reader to preview feeds and Google Reader will be discontinued in July.

"RSS Subscription Extension" had 869,743 users. You can still find at least two extensions based on Google's code.


  1. I am so disappointed with recent Google actions toward RSS especially about Google Reader that I am very close to close my account...

  2. Feedly has an nice extension for Chrome which will let you subscribe to feeds

    1. It won't pick up other feeds other than the first one listed. For example, tag feeds on WordPress.

  3. I have switched back to Firefox.
    Why ?
    On android store (google play) all ads filtering apps have been removed.
    So I don't see why removing the same kind of chrome extensions couldn't be the next step.
    Also important extensions like Ghostery, HTTPs Everywhere, Collusion were not or badly working on chrome.

    I am also worried that Blogger could be the next service to disapear.
    Why ?
    It's old
    Like reader the last updates where only to add G+ support
    And more important : they could say Google+ pages are like a blog !

    Removing Reader is not a bad move though :
    * We were only advanced users on it
    * It has been stuck for years (not improvement)
    * There is a huge user base searching for a new way to read their feeds anywhere
    This is a good opportunity to see an old outsider or a new service emerge as a good brand new RSS reader !

  4. One could simply take the RSS Subscriptions Extension (by Google) already installed in his Chrome, and re-package it to make it again available to the mass. Like, I don't know, here for example:

  5. I'm only waiting for Webkit Opera, and bye bye google!

  6. You can still create a Google Alert with the results delivered to Google Reader. That'll be one of the next things to go. Email will probably be the only option.

  7. Google's RSS Subscription Extension also allowed one to subscribe to other services such as feedly by editing the extension:

    1. ... there appears to be an extra space in the url so use following instead:
      Description: feedly

      Of course once you have feedly installed you can also use the "feedly mini" at the bottom right of a page.

    2. PS
      In feedly I use the "titles" or "condensed" view to make it look similar Google Reader.

  8. I think FeedBurner will go before Blogger. (Of course, why have boring ol' Google Voice when you can have Google+ Hangouts with video?) They've already suspended the version of Google Apps I use and are trying hard to get me to upgrade to $5 per person per month.

    But if the brains at Google can't figure out how to use Blogger + Feedburner + AdSense + Reader and make money, then they're not as smart as we think they are. Plus, how much insight are they giving up by no longer having data on which articles we read and don't read from the feeds we subscribe to? Don't tell me they never figured out how to loop that into PageRank.

    That's why on July 1, I'm closing my Google+ account. I know I can't *really* close it, but I can refuse to use it in any way shape or form. So, symbolic closure.

    Oh, but I hear Orkut's still up and running?

  9. They've also finally closed the issue (several years later):

    This has to be part of a broader move away from Syndication feeds; probably attempting to get more people to consume media through Google+.

  10. hey guys

    i've forked the google rss extension, updated it and loaded it to the chrome store - so that it works with feedly, newsblur and theoldread
    * have removed google reader, igoogle etc.. from the list



    1. Nice! Installed it, and shared it out on Google+. :)

      Thank you!

  11. They removed Reader's Android app too :-(

  12. Why did those a-holes have removed google reader from the list?
    I was planning to use it until July, 1

  13. I loved the RSS extension for Chrome but I am also venturing into new extensions provided on daily basis. After the removal of Google Reader, I have started using GroupDocs Viewer for a while and now, I love this extension. And what is better than this is, I am trying to develop chrome extensions on my own too. And articles such as Developing Extensions for Google Chrome have proved to quite helpful as well.