You might have read lately that Microsoft and Mozilla have decided to standardize their icons for feeds on the one used in Firefox. The Microsoft RSS Team reported they would adopt the Firefox icon a couple weeks ago:
We’ll be using the icon in the IE7 command bar whenever a page has a feed associated with it, and we’ll also use it in other places in the browser whenever we need a visual to represent RSS and feeds.
The Outlook 12 team has announced they’ll be using the same icon. Great news!
I think it is great news indeed! A standard icon will go a long way towards making web feeds even more mainstream, especially since I would expect many other companies to now adopt the icon as well. I have added the icon to my website, which you’ll see on the black bar above, next to the web feed icon. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll get rid of the web feed icon or keep it. I guess the new icon is really the “web feed icon” now!
The new icon is a departure from the RSS or XML icons, which is very good. Here’s what I wrote in August:
There’s some really simple reasons that we should be calling them web feeds. When you ask your friend or co-worker about something on the Internet, do you talk about visiting an “HTML page” or a “web page”? Does your web browser (not “HTML page browser”) load up “HTML pages” or “web pages”? Clearly, you talk about web pages, and that’s what your browser loads. There are three very good reasons we use the term web pages…For the very same reasons, we should be using web feeds, not RSS feeds.
Now that the graphic no longer says “rss” or “xml” or any word or acronym at all, I think it will become much easier to adopt the name “web feed”. And yes, we still need a name you can say in words, just like Prince was still called Prince after he adopted an icon to represent himself!