Moment of silence for Google Reader, which was the best blog feed aggregator for a long time.
Google put that product out to pasture in 2013 and readers were left scrambling to find a comparable replacement. There were (and continue to be) many, many RSS options, from the longstanding Feedly to a sleek minimalist option called Miniflux.
I found Bloglovin after testing a few other options and have used it ever since.
Why do I prefer Bloglovin?
It’s quick- importing blogs from Google Reader took seconds.
It’s the right balance of image and content- some blog readers strip away all images and some are heavily weighted towards images. I wanted to see what images writers were choosing for their posts, but not at the expense of readability. Bloglovin’s main feed has each post’s title, synopsis, tags, and main image. Clicking on that summary will bring you to the full post.
It offers tools for engagement and privacy- you can share, like, and create collections. You can also choose to mark blogs you follow as private- I can see this feature being useful, for example, if someone was trying to have a child and following a lot of pregnancy blogs. You might not want to share that information with everyone, and by marking a blog private it doesn’t show up in your profile. Bloglovin offers integrations with Facebook and Pinterest; I have not tested these but I imagine they could be useful!
It offers discovery- I don’t use this feature a lot but I do appreciate it- at the top of the site are general categories including Art, Technology, and Education. Clicking on one of those brings up a smorgasbord of posts relating to that topic, and you can choose to follow whatever blog looks good to you. Above that is a search bar that will search all the blogs and posts on Bloglovin using whatever term you put in. If a site isn’t on Bloglovin you can add it very easily- a feature that I really like. That feature means authors aren’t solely responsible for adding their blogs to this platform- once a blog is added, Bloglovin will pull information from that site just like any other RSS feeder, and authors can claim their blogs whenever they have time.
It’s free- Not “freemium,” not subscription-based, free. No plugin or extension needed. Android and iOS apps are available and render well.
When I check Bloglovin, I scan through my main feed, open the posts that are interesting to me, share things with others, and then mark everything as read. It’s quick, comprehensive, and free; all things I like 🙂 You can check out my profile here and see what blogs I follow; maybe you’ll find something new?