Twitter: The RSS Reader for the Masses

I have about twice the number of Twitter followers as I do RSS subscribers.Twitter/RSS

RSS is an open standard built from the ground up to serve-up new content as it is released. It excells at delivering information and making it readable in a quick and efficient manner. Yet it is still, for the most part, confined to the realms of geekdom.

Despite the strengths of RSS, it hasn’t been adopted by the general public, while Twitter, a proprietary social networking site, has. It’s a bit harder to understand RSS over Twitter, and subscribing to feeds isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

People follow Twitter profiles that have no human operator, robots that just spit out headlines parsed from the RSS feed of a website. @CNETtv is an example of such a bot. 4,088 followers…and all of them are following them to recieve the same information that the RSS feed could provide.

People are dumping headlines from their favorite sites into their Twitter timelines, mixed all up with friends’ status updates and shared links. This stew of subscribed links, retweeted links, and other bits of information is many peoples’ inbox of what’s new and interesting online.

Twitter truly is the RSS reader for the masses. It’s a stream of trusted sites’s content and recommendations from friends all in one place.

And yet… A very large percentage of the links I tweet come from my RSS reader.

  • Rarst

    Internet ~1.5 billion users.
    RSS adoption ~11%, ~165 millions (ok, even if this is overestimation it is still freaking LOT)
    Twitter ~6 million

    And you are telling me Twitter is mainstream while RSS isn't. Right.

    • redwall_hp

      RSS has not been adopted by the "general public" really. It's still 95% (made-up statistic, but I'd say it's fairly accurate) people who are technically inclined.

  • Dean Saliba

    I recently discovred that you can use RSS to see Tweets people have done.

    • Jenny

      You JUST discovered this? o.O