Digg -- yes, that Digg -- has a replacement in the works for Google Reader, and it looks like it'll arrive just ahead of the final days of Google's RSS aggregation service. The service, which uses the same API as Reader, is planning a public beta starting on June 26th; a "friends and family" beta will open this Wednesday, the 19th, with limited access.
During beta, the Digg RSS reader is free. In a survey Digg published last month on its blog, however, the company found that over 40 percent of respondents are "willing to pay for a Google Reader replacement." The company noted alongside the finding that, "Free products on the Internet don't have a great track record. They tend to disappear, leaving users in a lurch. We need to build a product that people can rely on and trust will always be there for them. We're not sure how pricing might work, but we do know that we'd like our users to be our customers, not our product."
That said, Digg's latest blog post seemingly assuages our worry. "We mentioned in a prior post that Digg Reader will ultimately be a 'freemium' product," the post reads. "But we're not going to bait-and-switch. All of the features introduced next week, as well as many others yet to come, will be part of the free experience." Those features include the standard RSS reader experience, "easy migration and onboarding from Google Reader," "useful mobile apps that sync with the web experience" (there's an iOS one pictured, and Android is promised in the 60 days post-launch) and "support for ... subscribing, sharing, saving and organizing."