Facebook RSS reader said to launch on June 20

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Facebook has sent out invitations for a press event on June 20, and it’s widely rumored to be the announcement of a new RSS reader.

The social-networking giant has sent out invites for a small event on Thursday, June 20 at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

The dead-tree invitation features a printed coffee cup stain ring and the words “A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and learn about a new product.” No other details have been released, but a Scottish developer may have spotted an important clue as to the purpose of the mysterious announcement.

Tom Waddington, who also maintains the website Cut Out + Keep with his fiancé Cat Morley, which is devoted to home arts and crafts skills, blogged on Thursday that he’d spotted something unusual in Facebook’s code base.

“A new entry appeared – now users have RSS feeds, each RSS feed has multiple entries, and a list of subscribers,” he wrote.

“What’s surprising is that the code mentions RSS specifically and distinctly from existing interest lists and friend lists. Also, note that this is unconnected to Facebook outputting RSS feeds, which they’ve done for a while.”

Waddington said that he’d tried to access the RSS feeds by means of the API, but it was locked down and only available to whitelisted applications at the present time.

If Facebook does have a new RSS reader, the move would fit in with the company’s strategy of trying to become the go-to place for internet users looking to know what is going on in the world, a strategy Mark Zuckerberg pointed to at the March launch of Facebook’s revamped news feed.

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