Although every major online new source offers an RSS feed, if you were to look at the latest statistics you would think that the future of RSS were abysmal. To the contrary, millions of people in the United States alone are loyal users of the best RSS readers, and routinely utilize RSS feed lists to access hundreds of the most popular RSS feeds.
Despite the multitudes that are reading news via RSS daily, it is hard to believe the statistics revealed through a recent Google consumer survey. According to the survey, 70.8 percent of respondents stated that they have never subscribed to an RSS feed nor have they ever used an RSS reader; and nearly 20 percent of survey respondents asked what are RSS feeds? Thus, the survey showed that around 9.5 percent, plus or minus a 2.5 percent margin of error, of web users have either subscribed to an RSS feed or used an RSS reader.
Of course, the survey says nothing about how many of that 9.5 percent are still using RSS readers; but a recent study conducted in the U.K. found that only 7 percent of all web users still subscribe to RSS feeds. While both of these numbers are modest, does this mean that RSS feeds are no longer valuable? In order to answer that question we would have to look at the who, why, and how of RSS users and their habits, as well as what people are using instead.
The truth is more users are likely to ask what are RSS feeds because more than 40 percent of web users are now getting their news via their social media accounts. Whether they use Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, or a combination of them, users of these popular social media sites receive their news by default. Already we can see why fewer people are using RSS, because they are already getting their news through the accounts they set up for social purposes.
While RSS is not as popular as it was among the general public, its current users remain loyal because it is a no frills information tool. Unlike the above mentioned social media sites, since there are no distractions like chat and social messaging, RSS remains ideal for people who are looking for a convenient and no nonsense way to get their news.