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Brave introduces built-in RSS reader

It's rolling out on iOS and will be soon on Android and Desktop.

The makers of the privacy-friendly Brave browser have announced that a new feature, RSS reader Brave Today, has been integrated in the latest version of the Brave iOS app, while desktop users can expect the same soon.

RSS readers can be standalone applications, or incorporated into the browser as in Brave’s case. They allow users to directly access RSS feeds from websites and podcasts.

At one time the most popular way to aggregate, organize, and access a large amount of information and sources from across the web in one place, these readers have gradually been phased out by Big Tech and replaced by the likes of Facebook and Twitter feeds, curated by algorithms to show or hide content from users depending on these company’s business interests.

However, RSS readers are making something of a comeback in a world riddled with privacy violations, user manipulation by giant social platforms, and censorship, and Brave Software first last December introduced their product, Brave Today, touting it as the privacy-preserving news reader that delivers content from hundreds of sources using Brave’s content delivery network (CDN).

The company said at the time that stories fetched in this way would be stored locally and ranked depending on publishing date and browser history, adding that the process is anonymous without allowing third parties, or Brave itself, to collect and track user data.

Now, Brave has extended this by letting users add any RSS feed of their choice manually. This can be done by searching a website’s domain name in the new, “Your Sources” setting, or by copy and pasting a feed’s URL.

Currently, the option to manually add RSS feeds is limited to 5, but those behind the Brave browser say that the number of feeds will soon become unlimited.

The feeds chosen by users in this way are displayed directly from the source, without touching Brave servers.

In announcing Brave Today in December, the company said it was continuing to strive to benefit publishers and creators by encouraging users to click through to the original sources of content displayed in their feeds.

When they do this, the Brave browser “fetches directly from the source of the content, so publishers maintain their relationships with readers on their own sites, instead of being forced through a redirect (as news.google.com does), or compelled to publish through Google’s AMP proxy (for mobile now, all devices soon) or another such proprietary proxy,” Brave explained at the time.

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