When Google Reader folded in 2013, I ported over my OPML file of feeds to Feedly and shortly thereafter became a paying subscriber for faster feed ingests and additional functionality and interoperability with services I used (e.g., Instapaper, IFTTT, Evernote, etc.) In the last few years, Feedly kept trying to sell me on the wonders of Leo, their AI, to help customize my discovery of relevant feeds and stories. I ignored those promotional efforts as best I could even though they were regularly inserted in the view of posts from the feeds I followed. Over time, I grew increasingly annoyed by the intrusion of those ads for the wonders of Leo and wished there was some way to get rid of them altogether. Last week, I finally found a way to make Leo go away: I cancelled my subscription to Feedly and moved over to NewsBlur, which I don’t love (it’s interface is a bit over designed and dated) but so far hasn’t been trying to upsell me on a regular basis.
The breaking point for me with Feedly happened last week when the latest Leo ad suggested that it would help users “track protests posing a risk to your company’s assets.” Say what? There’s no way I was going to get on board with some tool used to represent corporate interests at the expense of workers’ and citizens’ rights. Once I saw chatter about this on Mastodon, I knew it was time drop Feedly. This post by Molly White details the controversy and Feedly’s fumbling efforts to gaslight us and provided further evidence for me that Feedly just wasn’t a service I wanted to give money (or eyeballs) to anymore.