2009: The Tipping Point for Google Reader’s Dominance

Dr. Drang wrote an article yesterday titled, “The iPhone and Google Reader hegemony“:

What’s missing from the articles I’ve seen, though, is an explanation of how Google Reader got to be the 800 pound gorilla of RSS. It’s almost as if it were a fait accompli, that Google is a force of nature that inevitably takes over any field it gets into. The way I see it, though, is that it was the iPhone that put Google Reader in the driver’s seat.

It’s good theory, and I mostly agree.

But I think there is another critical factor as well: NewsGator shutting down its online feed reader, which also served as the syncing engine used by both NetNewsWire and FeedDemon — arguably the two most popular RSS applications for Mac OS X and Windows, respectively.

NewsGator Online shut down in 2009. Later that year NetNewsWire and FeedDemon both incorporated Google Reader as their new syncing engine.

Also in 2009: Reeder 1.0 for iPhone shipped, and quickly became one of the most popular RSS applications for iOS. And you could only use it with a Google Reader account.

As Dr. Drang points out, the iPhone was emphasizing more than ever our need and desire to sync our data. Meanwhile, Google Reader was in the right place at the right time just as all the new and best applications were in need of a syncing solution. Too bad Google didn’t care.

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