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LinkedIn Jumps on the Feed Reader Craze, Buys Pulse

pulseEvery since Google announced that they were shutting down Google Reader, a dozen others have popped up with plans to fill the void.

Today’s entry comes from LinkedIn. Instead of reinventing the wheel, they bought one – Pulse: Your News, Blog, Magazine and Social Reader. The app was designed as a class project by two Standford boys who were looking for a better way to keep up with their favorite blogs and newspapers.

Now, 20 million people use Pulse to keep up with their favorite content streams in 190 countries. Pulse says they consume more 10 million stories a day and that’s music to this writer’s ears.

LinkedIn bought Pulse because well-written content is slowly pushing random blurbs off the page.  Here’s a quote from their announcement post.

We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform – where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content. Millions of professionals are already starting their day on LinkedIn to glean the professional insights and knowledge they need to make them great at their jobs. We believe we can help all professionals make smarter and more informed business decisions leveraging all the great business knowledge flowing through LinkedIn in the form of news, Influencer posts, industry updates, discussions, comments and more.

I’ve always felt that LinkedIn was a half-step away from being truly useful (your mileage may vary). I’ve tried LinkedIn groups, but they don’t work for me. Many of them are filled with nothing but self-promotion, others are rarely updated – they’re basically forums and forums don’t work like they used to.

Yes, I’m anxious to see where they go with Pulse.

The app does a nice job of delivering content in a clean, inviting manner. It’s available for iOS, Android and the web – so they have all the bases covered. You can use the app to read your feeds and / or you can subscribe to specific news channels. They offer premium content for .99 a month and with the latest upgrade you can scan Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram and Flickr.

I’m sold.

pulse tablet

For now. Statements like this from LinkedIn worry me:

The Pulse experience will continue to be supported, while we work together on new and innovative ways to publish, discover, and share your professional knowledge.

Kinda sounds like they’re planning on changing the entire app to suit LinkedIn, doesn’t it? We’ll see. . . we’ll see. . .

Are you a Pulse user? We’d like to know what you think of the app.