Important! SilverReader shutdown on November 1. 2014.

TL;DR

SilverReader service is shutting down on November 1. 2014. 00:00 CET. Make sure you have exported your subscriptions and found an alternative before that date.

A hard decision

It’s been quite a journey for the last year and a half and we are up to the point to decide whether to continue developing and investing into SilverReader or stop it altogether. Sadly, we decided to do latter.

We never intended to create RSS reader to compete with likes of Feedly. This was our side project, built on our spare time. The plan was to just make it self-sustainable, with ads and premium features, so it can at least pay for its hosting.

Unfortunately, we never got to that point. Our marketing efforts failed to bring us larger user base. We are just developers after all, enjoying building things, not marketing them. Also, the monthly costs of hosting accumulated over time. While they are not as high now, we would need to invest in an expanded infrastructure in near future.

Moving on

We came to the crossroad. Should we invest more time in marketing, implementing ads, adding premium features and hope that more users will come? Or should we just give up?

We already got caught up by our daily jobs and other side projects. In the last 6 months only Android client app has been getting new features. Web app and Windows Phone client were on ice. iOS client was planned and started but never got far. So, looks like we already made up our minds, just were not aware of it.

On November 1. 2014. 00:00 CET, SilverReader service will shut down, after 491 days (it started on June 28. 2013.). It was a hard decision to make. We hope our users will find a great new home somewhere, as cozy as SilverReader was. For alternatives, take a look below.

In a few days, a shutdown notice will be added to all our apps, linking to this post.

Make sure you have exported your subscriptions before November 1. To export your feeds in OPML format, open SilverReader web app, click on your username / avatar on top right and choose Settings. Then go to Import/Export and click Export button. You’ll get a standard OPML file that you can import to any other RSS reader. Note that you won’t have your bookmarks exported with this! Bookmark those items somewhere else while SilverReader is still active.

Plans

SilverReader is our child and we wouldn’t like for it to just disappear. It took a considerable effort to develop it. There are several possible scenarios for future.

  1. To sell the service
    If there’s someone interested in taking over SilverReader (with our support for further development), please let us know.
  2. To make the code Open-Source
    In the next few months, we might publish the source code for crawler, web app and some / all our client apps on GitHub.
  3. Android client
    SilverReader Android client might be resurrected to use some third party API (like Feedly). In a more unlikely case, Windows Phone client also.
  4. SilverReader blog
    This blog will not be shut down. It will be our channel for any future updates, like source code publishing, client app changes, etc.

Alternatives

For a list of alternatives, take a look at: http://alternativeto.net/software/silverreader/.

Feedly might seem like a most obvious choice, but for users used to Google Reader-like interface, there are plenty of other options. Here are some of our favorites in no particular order:

Goodbye

From the bottom of our hearths, thank you.
Your SilverReader team

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
– Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Recap and future roadmap

Our status after 5 days live

We are pretty satisfied with our customer base growth after 5 days live. It seams that people love our service and a lot of registered users are coming back. There hasn’t been any large issues so far, like other competitors have experienced (Feedly lost user feeds subscriptions), so we are pleased.

What do we expect from our users?

We expect a lot of feedback. Please send us your wishes, desires and also problems (if you have any) using SilverReader feedback. We’ll be happy as long as our users are happy.

What have we done so far?

Our back-end services are fine tuned, so we can proudly say that we have one of the fastest back-ends out there. We have also published our desktop-browser optimized website http://silverreader.com, which is by far the  fastest RSS reader available online right now (it’s about 2 – 3x faster than Google Reader was and much faster that any other competitor).

One of our users said on Twitter : “SilverReader is as fast as a native application” and we are proud of that.

In the last few days, some minor bugs are fixed. We are also working on RTL language support. Some basic RTL language support is already published, but in next few days, our users can expect more improvement on that functionality.

What are our future plans?

For us, the most important thing is to listen to our users and adapt our plans according to their wishes. Currently, we plan to:

  1. Make sure that web version is stable and work consistently on all browsers
  2. Improve responsive design our web version across tablet / mobile devices
  3. Add some additional features to web version (great new features are coming which will not affect the simplicity of User interface)
  4. Deliver Android / iPhone / iPad apps
  5. Deliver Windows Phone / Windows 8 / RT apps

Do you think that we need to change our roadmap or that we missed something? Just drop us a comment or give us some feedback on SilverReader UserVoice.

Thank you for the phenomenal first 5 days. Stay tuned for more news.

Happy reading! Your SilverReader team.