updated 01:32 pm EDT, Fri June 14, 2013
Possible RSS reader code found within Facebook Graph API
The battle to take the place of the soon-to-close Google Reader has gained another combatant, in the form of Facebook. Mentions of RSS feeds buried within Facebook's API coding suggest that it is creating its own RSS feed reader, something that it could possibly launch before Google shuts down its own service on July 1st.
Developer Tom Waddington found the extra bits of code within Facebook's Graph API. The RSS feed is found to be linked to user IDs, contains fields for titles, URLs, and update times, and also has entries and subscribers for each feed. The code itself is not functional, as when run through Facebook's Graph API explorer, it states it needs to be executed from whitelisted addresses. TechCrunch contacted Facebook, but the social network declined to comment about any potential RSS product launches.
The addition of RSS feed reading to Facebook appears to be fairly sound. Users already visit the site to see updates from liked pages as well as users they follow, and RSS is a natural extension to that. While it will be possible for such a feature to be a separate section of Facebook to the main status feed, it is far more likely to be rolled into it. A Facebook RSS reader would also have to compete against a number of other competitors for the Google Reader crown, including efforts from Digg, NewsBlur, and Feedly.