Either a separate program or built into the Web browser, a newsreader is used to read messages from syndication feeds such as RSS and Atom. Newsreaders were first used for Usenet, the Internet-based discussion groups that existed a decade before the Web came about.|
Also called an "RSS reader," "news aggregator," "feed viewer" or "headline viewer," some newsreader programs provide a search capability for both newsgroups and feeds as well as local e-mail messages, contacts and other files.
The term originally referred to command-line Unix utilities, such as pine, nn, rn and tin, that were used only for Usenet discussions. Graphics-based newsreaders were subsequently developed for Windows and Mac, and newsreader functionality was later incorporated into Web browsers and e-mail programs. See Usenet, newsgroup and syndication format.