27% Use RSS Without Realizing It

Posted on January 2, 2006

A Slashdot post discusses a new Yahoo and Ipsos research report that found that 27% of Internet users are actively using RSS without realizing it. Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • Awareness of RSS is quite low among Internet users. 12% of users are aware of RSS, and 4% have knowingly used RSS.
  • 27% of Internet users consume RSS syndicated content on personalized start pages (e.g., My Yahoo!, My MSN) without knowing that RSS is the enabling technology.
  • 28% of Internet users are aware of podcasting, but only 2% currently subscribe to podcasts.
  • Even tech-savvy "Aware RSS Users" prefer to access RSS feeds via user-friendly, browser based experiences (e.g., My Yahoo!, Firefox, My MSN).
  • The study also explained how they determined if someone was RSS unaware:
    In the survey, respondents who were unaware of RSS and who use a personalized start page supporting RSS feeds were asked to select the items displayed on their page. Customers who selected known RSS content feeds were categorized as "RSS Unaware users."
    So these people are actively adding feeds to their My Yahoo or My MSN homepage but they don't realize they are using RSS feeds. If Ipsos ran a survey asking people about other Internet technologies they would probably find people use browsers, CSS, HTML and secure servers without realizing it as well. 31% is nearly one-third of all Internet users and that's pretty good for a technology that has only recently entered the mainstream.

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