Search king Google on Friday unveiled Google Reader, its entrance into the news feed reading business.
Google Reader, like other news feed readers before it, displays updates from a variety of Internet-based subscription sources, and shows the results on one Web page.
It eliminates the need to continually visit each individual Web site for updates. Other news feeds make use of e-mail.
It remains to be seen whether the cache associated with Googles brand will help Google Reader find an audience.
Itll face competition from a bevy of other, more established and mature readers, including SharpReader and NewsGator, which turns Microsoft Outlook, the e-mail feature, into an RSS reader.
More broadly, news feeds highlight the changing way people are getting information from the Internet.
Rather than visit a number of different sites, news from a variety of different sites can now be easily organized into one personalized Internet locale. That has had ancillary results, one being the diminished significance of the content providers own Web sites.
Google Reader supports RSS, which Google initially snubbed, and a lesser know news feed format known as Atom.
Content providers allow their articles to be ensnared by formatting their material in a particular way. Virtually every major online publication and publishers of Web logs (blogs) uses RSS, which is said to stand for "really simple syndication."
Several major Internet browsers, including Firefox and Opera, have RSS features built in.
Several Google services, including Sidebar desktop search tool, contain features common to a news feed. But Google Reader is the companys first actual news feed reader.