Regarding Readability

by Ben Ubois

Readability is shutting down and that means making a few changes to Feedbin.

Readability offered two services both named Readability.

  1. A read-it-later/Instapaper type of service. Feedbin offered an integration to let you easily add links to your Readability account. This has been removed from Feedbin.
  2. A parser API. Feedbin used this service to provide the full content of partial-content feeds. This functionality will continue to exist in Feedbin, but powered by Diffbot.

For now I’ve chosen Diffbot to fill in for the functionality that Readability’s parser API provided. Diffbot’s data is great. The whole company is focused on offering a suite of products that extract useful information from webpages and has a simple subscription business model so I’m optimistic that it will only improve.

I looked at a few alternatives to Diffbot, including some open-source projects and Mercury. Ultimately Diffbot’s solid data and presence of a business model made it the easy choice.

I’m planning on leaving the Readability icon in-place. Readability’s parser functionality is tough to convey in an icon, and I think that taking advantage of the brand recognition of Readability makes sense for now. Also, I like to think of it as a small homage.

Readability was a great product that Feedbin relied on for years. It will be missed!


It turned out that DiffBot did not offer the performance necessary for this feature. It’s been updated to use Mercury Web Parser. Also the icon has been updated to: