Google Will Push Real-Time Feeds to Browser (Updated)

Updated at 9:30 PM PST with comment from Google. Google posted an unlisted video to YouTube tonight showing details of a 2.0 version of its Feed API, a simple tool for displaying recent headlines from a syndicated feed on any web page. The new version will accept real-time PubSubHubbub feeds and will publish new headlines to a site visitor’s browser within seconds of their being published to the feed.

This new version turns the Feed API from cool to super-cool. It’s a good example of the way much of the web is likely to go in the near-term future. No more refreshing pages to see when new content is available – the real-time web comes to you live, nearly instantly as soon as it’s published.

The URL for more information,, isn’t live yet. This will probably be one of the things announced later this week at the Google I/O developers’ conference.

This Spring we reported that Google has plans to transform its index of the web with the addition of real-time feed consumption, in addition to the standard spider crawl it has used for years. Last year, Google Reader began offering real-time feeds of user feedback to Reader items, but that was outbound and not a case of Google consuming real-time feeds.

Google Buzz supports both inbound and outbound PubSubHubbub feeds. It plans on offering read/write API access via Hubbub in the future.

The inclusion of Hubbub consumption into the Feed API may seem like a small move, but put in the larger context of Google moving toward real-time it appears more significant. It will also likely seem like a significant change to the publishers and web users who come in contact with the API’s pushed content.

Update: Google contacted us after publishing this story and confirmed that the technology would be unveiled at Google I/O this week. Interested parties should attend this session Wednesday morning. Google says that the Feed API is one of its most popular APIs and that the new version will be rolled out slowly starting next week.

We were also told that Google software engineer Brett Bavar decided to build the technology after being inspired by the ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit in October. That’s pretty awesome to hear and might persuade the savvy reader to consider attending our next Real-Time Web Summit on June 11th in New York City.

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