Introducing Kouio

4th July, 2013

My name's Stephen McDonald and I'd like to introduce you to something exciting. This first blog post of ours is just a bit of a meet and greet between us and you, to talk about what we've done so far with Kouio, our Google Reader replacement, and furthermore, what's to come next.

You're most likely here as an avid user of Google Reader, which as we all know is being shut down. My buddy Adam O'Byrne and I have both been heavy users of Google Reader for many years now, so like a lot of people, our hearts broke when we discovered that Reader was being taken away from us, considering how huge a portion of our daily digital lives it made up.

Like a lot developers, when we heard this news our first reaction was to make sure this could never happen again, by building our own Reader that no one could ever shut down. That was a couple of months ago now, and since then Adam and I have been slaving over hot code to bring you the first version of Kouio. During this time we asked ourselves a seemingly hard question: how can we ensure Kouio doesn't suffer the same fate as Reader? The answer was quite simple though, but unfortunately one that some people might not want to hear: we're going to charge $5 a month for a Kouio account.

We want Kouio to survive. We need it to, for our own RSS usage at the least. We don't want another Reader shut down on us. We want a solid Reader that we can depend on, and the best way we can do this for both you and ourselves is to create a sustainable business around it. We've seen the same thing happen with and Twitter. In that regard you could say we're the of RSS.

Not convinced? Fear not - over the next 30 days, you can try Kouio for free. Here's our initial feature set that initially fulfils our need as a Google Reader replacement:

  • One-click Google Reader import
  • Unlimited feeds
  • Single / dual column reading modes
  • Favourite / starred items
  • Mark as read / unread
  • Folders
  • RESTful API
  • OPML import/export

But you'll get a much better feel for Kouio by taking a few seconds to sign up, import your feeds directly from Google Reader, and giving it a spin.

We're not planning too far ahead in terms of features. We have a hundred small UI tweaks still to make, like "mark all read" buttons, folders and search, and we've also got larger things in the works as well, like iOS and Android clients. Our main approach though, is going to be listening to what you, our paying customers want, and iterating on your feedback. Some of these things will be available over the next few days, while some might take a little longer, but hang in there, we have plenty of work to do and we think you're going to love it.

If you'd like more info, we've covered some extra points in our FAQ, so give that a read. You can also email us at any time about anything at all, please don't hesitate to. Oh and you can follow us on Twitter as well for ongoing updates.

Lastly, thanks for giving Kouio a try, you won't regret it :-)