Known mainly as the RSS reader/syncing tool that many internet users flocked to when Google Reader was shut down, web service Feedly is looking to dip its toes into the social pool with a number of new social network-like features. Most obvious among these is a new publicly-viewable profile and user name, as well as the ability to share collections of feeds and updates.
Feedly used its time on the stage at the Evernote conference on Friday to announce its forthcoming updates and changes. While thankfully the stand-alone RSS tool isn’t going anywhere, Feedly says its goal is to become more of a collaborative reading platform, à la Medium. Collections will serve as groups of news feeds based on a topic chosen, and curated, by the user. These groupings can then be restricted to friends and family, or made public to be followed by anyone, much in the way that Pinterest works.
As of today, a small selection of users chosen by Feedly have been granted access to the new features, with heavy users of the service being invited try them out over the next few weeks. Feedly Pro users are scheduled to full access before the end of the year, while a full roll-out to all members will take place in Q1 of 2015.
If all this social sharing and collecting doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, fear not, as a spokesperson for the service was quick point out that none of the new collaborative changes will be forced on users, and it will still be simple for them to continue using Feedly the way they always have. The company says it just wants to give those in its community of 15 million members who want it an easier way to interact with one another.