When Google announced back in March that it'd be shutting down its popular Reader aggregation service, I freaked out. I had been a Reader user for a number of years, clinging to it thanks to its simplicity and reliability; I knew that finding a suitable alternative wasn't going to be easy. After a mad scramble, testing out a variety of other options, I settled on Feedly.
The folks at Feedly welcomed Reader exiles with open arms, and it seemed like the service was only going to get better. While the design of the service was quite good, there were a couple of things that drove me bonkers. The inability to search through your feeds was my number one complaint, and one that totally baffled me. Something as simple as search is something usually default. Feedly was the first service I encountered that didn't offer a search when it should have.
Not long after Reader's announced closing, Feedly issued a survey to gain an understanding of what its users would like to see from the service - I of course mentioned the importance of search. Well, today, the company is giving users like me the search they've yearned for, but almost unbelievably, it's going to cost you.
With Feedly Pro, you gain the ability to search, use a secure version of the site, integrate with Evernote, and gain access to premium support. A minimal list, to say the least, but its price-tag doesn't seem to realize it: $5/mo, or $45/year.
If you're willing to cough up $99 now, you'll gain a lifetime Pro account. This is a limited-time offer and ends after 5,000 sign-ups. As of the time of writing, the deal is still active, and I'm curious to see if it's even going to be exhausted. Who wants to pay $5/mo for a couple of simple, expected features? Not me.
I'm not opposed to signing up for a subscription to any service, but it's going to have to convince me that it's worth it. I don't like feeling like I'm getting ripped-off, and I know I'm not alone. While I rely heavily on a search feature in my aggregator, there's no way I can convince myself that such an expected, simple feature is worth $5/mo. I could get behind a $1/mo subscription for these features, even though I only want the search. LastPass Premium, for example, is $1/mo, and arguably worth it.
I can understand Feedly's challenge of making revenue on a service like this, but I think that the features are going to have to be a lot more compelling for a $5/mo pricetag to feel worth it. I still enjoy Feedly, but I think the time has come to once again seek out an alternative.