How to get half a million users in a day

Newspapers B&W (5) by NS Newsflash

Google is dropping the Google Reader product. While painful, this is not what the below is about. This is about how a relatively small (my Linkedin search lists a handful of employees) company made all the right moves in capturing the user migration away from Google, gaining fame, 500K users and hopefully – fortune.

A word about the whole process: as an avid reader user myself, I was unhappy with Google dropping it, but hey – Google’s sole responsibility as a company is creating more value for its shareholders (oh, and not being evil, I think) – so more power to them if that improves their bottom line. Discontinuing reader opened a window of opportunity for any company who is looking to revolutionize the way we consume and curate information. I can’t value this market, but I assume it is large. Imagine: having control/insight/the ability to plant ads in any place people consume, share and store news/info from websites. Seems massive.

Back to feedly: when I cast about looking for a way to continue consuming information by subscribing to website updates – up came feedly – due to a very successful campaign they obviously have been preparing for some time. Just look at the order of events:

  • Feb 19th – Feedly upgrades their servers “to handle more users faster”
  • Feb 23rd – another round of Feedly performance upgrades
  • March 13th – Google announces they are discontinuing Google reader in July
  • March 14th – Feedly publishes a blog post “tips on transitioning from google reader to feedly
  • March 15th – 500,000 users join feedly
  • March 19th – Feedly is top newspaper app in google play (and the Apple App Store)
  • March 23rd – Feedly still holding top spots in the news category in the Apple App Store (3rd) and Google Play (5th)

Staying very alert and moving fast, feedly captured 500,000 new users in a day. They had prepared capacity and a enacted proper social media campaign with impeccable timing – to success.

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