Are social networking sites taking toll over RSS feeds?


RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) is a type of web feed format used to publish frequently updated works on a website, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio and video in a standardized format. The RSS document features small text and some information about the post. RSS helps the readers to remain informed and updated without visiting the site. The RSS reader can check the feeds as per his requirements and may download or read the newly updated items.

According to a research report, RSS, the backbone of online content distribution is only used by 11% of viewers and only 17% of the rest said that they will use the RSS feed in future. Hence, it seems that broadly distributed online content has a dark future.

Why readers are not using RSS?

Since 1999, RSS has changed the way of processed information, by providing updates in organized and systematic manner to people. Before RSS, users had to search the Web for news and updates.

However, analysts suggest that RSS is a geeky term and most of the broader base of the general users still do not use RSS feeds. Also, the presentation and format of the RSS feed is not accepted by many users. Users are now switching to the next generation, Twitter as their new link generator to keep up with current news and posts.

Comparison between Twitter and RSS

1. Twitter permits you to share links between your contacts adding the social networking aspect to it. Whereas, RSS provides you, the capability to subscribe and add what you like but without any networking aspect to it.

2. Twitter is very fast, you can catch the links as soon as the post is released on the website, while the RSS feed lacks the speed. Most of the time, feeds are updated couple of hours later after the post is published.

3. In Twitter, there is nothing to manage, hence eliminates the hassle of organizing and managing feeds. But, in RSS you have to manage your feeds that is a time consuming exercise.

4. Twitter is a social feed reader and allows you to communicate with like minded people. There is nothing social about RSS, however you can share your feeds with someone else, but it does not fulfill the social aspect.

5. For many people, working on Twitter is more enjoyable as compared to RSS because the former provides readable stuff in appealing manner, whereas latter offers simple plain text.


Twitter certainly has consistency and uptime issues. According to sources, the site is down at least 1-3 hours each day between different times. Also, recently Twitter has become a marketing tool, which will certainly allow room for SPAM. However, RSS is still away from it. According to users, links on Twitter are thrown at you, means they are not organized. However, in RSS links are organized and you can also organize them the way you please. But, in the latest trend Twitter, not RSS, became the early warning system for new content on various websites.

Renu Singh/ITvoir Network