The heir apparent to Google Reader is trying to pull in some cash.

Feedly this weekend announced Feedly Pro, a $5-per-month version of the service meant for the most hardcore RSS reader users.

With the upgraded version of the service, Feedly is offering users secure browsing via HTTPS, easy Evernote integration, and the ability to search within RSS feeds. Feedly will also make sure that Feedly Pro users go to the top of the support queue if they have issues.

The problem is that these features may not be the sort of things Feedly users will be willing to pay for. HTTPS, for instance, has become a basic feature for websites, not a paid add-on.  (Just ask Facebook, which turned on the feature by default, and,  no, it isn’t charging for it.)

Possibly more troublesome is the search-within-feeds addition, which was a basic feature in Google Reader that’s been noticeably absent from Feedly so far.


Above: Are these features worth $5 per month? Some Feedly users don’t think so.

Responding to calls for the feature back in June, Feedly product designer and co-founder Arthur Bodolec said that while RSS search was on Feedly’s to-do list, actually implementing it wouldn’t be easy. “But we definitely understand the value of such a feature so we will be working hard on that one to make sure we can add it to feedly,” he wrote at the time.

Early reaction to Feedly Pro hasn’t been glowing. Feedly’s message boards contain many reactions from users who feel betrayed by the company’s decision to add these seemingly basic features to the paid version of the service.

“Enabling a key feature like search only for paying users… This is not what I was expecting from feedly team. Sorry but this strategy is too acquisitive for me. I started looking for another RSS reader,” one user writes.

“DISGRACEFULL!!!!!!! CHARGING FOR a search feature that was free with Google Reader,” proclaims another.

And here’s a more measured reaction to the HTTPS addition:

I am planning to upgrade to Pro because I want Feedly to continue to exist, but I think making security (https) something a user has to pay for is just not a great idea. At some point someone on non-https is going to be compromised, and you are going to get a lot of flack, rightfully so. Security is not a feature.

We’ve asked Feedly for comment on the reactions.


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