The first version of RSS, which was then known as RDF, was released in March of 1999. Although there were several attempts made to syndicate news during previous years, this early version of RSS was the first successful form of web news syndication. Later that year, it was renamed as RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary. Over the years, various updated versions of RSS were released in much the same way that Microsoft releases newer versions of windows every couple years. Despite the many technological advances that have been made since 1999, many web users remain committed to news RSS feed lists.
As we all know, digital technology is in a state of perpetual change, which means that things that are wildly popular one day are regularly replaced with cooler, sleeker, sexier, and more efficient technologies the next. But more than 14 years after its original release, RSS news feeds for websites have carved enough of a niche that they are still used by millions of internet users. When you think about it, the fact that RSS has remained relevant for that length of time is fascinating, especially when you look at previously untouchable industry behemoths like Microsoft wriggling in discomfort as Apple chomps away at what was once considered a comfortable lead.
While RSS is still relevant and used daily by its many loyal followers, a recent survey uncovered some interesting facts about its present status. According to the survey, around 7 percent of web users use RSS feeds and RSS news feeds lists every day. And 50 percent of them admitted to still being unfamiliar with RSS, RSS readers, and news RSS feed lists.
However, all of this supposed unfamiliarity with all things RSS can be deceptive. Because after Google pulled the plug on it popular Google Reader, millions of users who utilized it to access RSS news feed websites found themselves homeless. In fact, within two weeks of the demise of Google Reader more than 3.5 million of them joined Feedly, as they desperately sought an alternate aggregator to access various RSS news feed for websites.