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As we get closer and closer to shipping NetNewsWire for iOS, I’m starting to realize that the iOS version could be quite a bit more popular than the Mac app.
Here are a few numbers:
- NetNewsWire 5.0 for Mac was downloaded 24,789 times.
- The NetNewsWire for Mac beta builds are downloaded anywhere from around 630 to around 1,360 times.
- Number of people who signed up for the public test of NetNewsWire for iOS: 5,263.
Five times more?
The number of testers tells me — very roughly — that there’s about five times more interest in the iOS app than in the Mac app.
If that holds true, then NetNewsWire 5 for iOS, once it ships, will get downloaded about 124,000 times.
Let’s round down — call it 100,000 downloads in the first two weeks. I would be amazed if we got that that many downloads. I’m really expecting a number much closer to the Mac app. But I could be very wrong — I admit to thinking like a Mac developer and not really feeling the greater size of the iOS market.
It’s quite possible that 100,000 might be too low.
At any rate, I’ll be sure to report the actual numbers on this blog. 🐣
What does this mean for interest in RSS readers in general?
Remember that NetNewsWire is just one of many RSS readers on Mac and iOS. There are readers for Android and Windows — and a whole bunch of browser-based readers, such as Feedbin, Feedly, Inoreader, and others.
You can’t just multiply my NetNewsWire estimate by the number of apps and come up with something meaningful.
But you can look at some things and get an idea. For instance: on Feedly, one of the most popular browser-based readers, there are 1.6 million people subscribed to Engadget. No, I have no idea if those are all active readers, but still.
I think it would be reasonable to guess that the number of people who use an RSS reader is probably greater than a million, and could be several million people.
Those aren’t Twitter user numbers, obviously, not even close — but I’m betting it’s more than what most people assume it is.
PS This blog has 16K followers just on Feedly. If it were possible to add up my subscriber counts from each RSS reader, it would be quite a bit more than the 18K Twitter followers I have. Which is as it should be.