Reading app Readability once butted heads with Apple on subscription rules, but more recently its friction points have been in competition with apps like Instapaper, Pocket,Pulse, and Flipboard, who all present consumers with ways of aggregating and making it easier to read the vast sea of content available online. Now Readability, with has 5 million monthly active users stripping out and reading tens of millions of articles each day, is launching Top Reads, a reading aggregation service of its own based on the most read stories on Readability, to get more people to spend more time on its platform.
Top Reads will launch first as a responsive web app for desktop and mobile screens, and Rich Ziade, one of Readability’s founders, says that there will be dedicated native mobile apps on the way in a matter of months if the response is good.
Top Reads is not exactly new — it a feature that first appeared as a list in Readability’s mobile applast year, and has been getting strong traffic since, with about two-thirds of the site’s 5 million users using it every month. Enough attention, he said, to get Ziade and his team to explore making it into a standalone service with its own URL.
“Discovery is a still big deal,” he told TechCrunch. “We’re getting swamped with stuff to read.” And while his app has developed a dedicated audience using it to read content they are finding themselves, this will help them look at what others are reading, too.
The new, more visual version looks more like Flipboard than text river, with pictures and links through to either read later, share, or read instantly.