REPORT: Facebook Reader Is Not RSS-Based, Nor A Response To Google Reader Shutdown

By David Cohen 

The Reader project Facebook is reportedly working on is not based on RSS, and it is not a response to the impending shutdown of Google Reader, a source close to the project told TechCrunch.

The source told TechCrunch Reader (the social network’s internal name for the project) will not be based on RSS, as RSS is “too niche” for Facebook, and most users would not take the time to locate and subscribe to RSS feeds, adding that the RSS code discovered earlier this month by developer Tom Waddington was not related to a specific product and has since been removed.

The source also told TechCrunch Reader has been in development for quite some time, and it is not intended to be a Google Reader replacement, nor was it modeled on Flipboard.

TechCrunch confirmed a report by The Wall Street Journal that Facebook Product Designer Mike Matas is the lead designer on the Reader project, and it pointed to Matas’ history of designing user interfaces in speculating that Reader will be focused on images and visuals, and not on text and RSS.

Another theory proposed by TechCrunch: Reader could actually be the redesign of Facebook’s mobile News Feed, such as a version of the social network’s Cover Feed for its Home Android overlay, with more content.

Readers: What do you think Facebook Reader will end up being?

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