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Definition: newsreader


A newsreader is either a stand-alone application or a function built into the Web browser that is used to read messages from syndication feeds such as RSS and Atom. Also called an "RSS reader," "news aggregator," "feed viewer" or "headline viewer," some newsreaders provide a search for syndication feeds and newsgroups, as well as local email messages, contacts and other files.

Originally for Usenet
Newsreaders were first created for Usenet, the Internet-based discussion groups that existed a decade before the Web came about. The newsreaders were command-line Unix utilities such as pine, nn, rn and tin. Graphics-based newsreaders were subsequently developed for Windows and Mac, and newsreader functionality was later incorporated into Web browsers and email programs. See Usenet, newsgroup, RSS, syndication format and digital newsstand.




A Stand-Alone Newsreader
The Headline Viewer newsreader aggregates selected feeds, shown on the left. The feed's articles are at the top, and the article's page is rendered below. For more information, visit www.headlineviewer.com.