Google’s decision to axe Google Reader has not only invoked RSS-geek fury, but opened the door for rivals hoping to get in on the feed-reading action instead, with Zite the latest to make a play. Although Zite has always been more about pushing its own automagically-generated news, the company has quickly thrown together a Google Reader importer – in six hours, the company boasts – for those looking for an escape route.
In fact, Zite and Google Reader haven’t exactly been separated like church and state in the past. Zite previously allowed new users to register their Reader accounts so as to help shape the algorithms that pick out content the service believes they’ll be most interested in
The Google Reader content shows up in a new section, though it might require an app restart for you to actually start seeing it. That’s not the only limitation of what Zite concedes is very much a first-generation solution, either.
For instance, there’s currently no way to edit which feeds you’re subscribed to – Zite says it’ll probably add a web-based editing tool to address that – and if you’re still using Google Reader to manage your RSS (up until Google shuts it down on July 1st) the changes won’t automatically sync with Zite. Instead, you’ll have to manually unlink and relink the accounts. There’s also no folder support.
Perhaps the biggest deal-breaker, though, is the fact that currently Zite doesn’t index every RSS feed, which means some of those you currently subscribe to may not be supported. The company says it’ll be working on improving that. Meanwhile, it has some competition: Digg has already thrown its own hat into the ring, confirming it too is working on a Reader alternative.