RSS use peaking? I’m not so sure, but others disagree.
Here is another post from Steve Rubel on RSS Feeds. Given we asked last week about which RSS readers you used I thought it was appropriate.
Forrester Research today published a new report on the state of RSS. In short, while there are bright spots, it does not paint the picture of a technology that’s going mainstream anytime soon.
On a positive note, the resarch entitled What’s Holding RSS Back?, says that nearly half of marketers have moved to add feeds to their web sites. Further, RSS adoption among consumers is at 11% up from just 2% of users three years ago. RSS feeds usage is more dominant among men.
Here’s the kicker, though. That might be all she wrote for RSS’ growth track.
According to the research, of the 89% of those who don’t use feeds only 17% say they’re interested in using them. In fact Forrester spends much of the report helping marketers better explain the benefits of RSS to their customers. ‘Unless marketers make a move to hook them — and try to convert
their apathetic counterparts — RSS will never be more than a niche
technology,’ the analysts (who include Jeremiah Owyang) wrote.
Lord knows, as someone who spends three hours a day in Google Reader, I am a giant evangelist for RSS. But I am also a realist. Feeds are way way too geeky for most and the benefit does not outweigh the learning curve. So I think RSS has peaked.
Still, while feed adoption may have crested the idea of online opt-in communications is just getting going. The Facebook newsfeed, Twitter and Friendfeed are perfect examples of opt-in vehichles that bring content you care about to you. In each case, you’re total in control. You can unsubscribe from individuals or groups and tailor the stream so that what you want finds you.
RSS is only one form of opt-in communications. The potential is bigger when you look more broadly to social networking. This larger promise still holds and as the technologies become more invisible the newsfeed could even one day subsume RSS.