Safari allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds and add your social media accounts so you can view them right in the browser, in one universal feed, without the need of any add-on applications or extensions.
That way, instead of manually browsing to all your favorite sites and social media pages, you can view every article, tweet, and status update in your Safari sidebar.
How to Add RSS Feeds to Safari on OS X and iOS
RSS feeds are a great way to keep up with your favorite blogs and news sites, but social media streams have replaced RSS feeds for a lot of people. There are still many RSS feeds available for many major websites, however, and one of the nice things about Safari is the ability to subscribe to these feeds and view them in the browser’s sidebar.
To open the sidebar, click the “Show Sidebar” button, or alternatively you can go right to your shared links by using the keyboard combination Command+Ctrl+3. In the following screenshot, we’ve already opened the browser to the New York Times’ RSS feed page.
Once the Sidebar is open, click the “Subscriptions” button at the bottom.
The easiest way to add feeds to the Shared Links sidebar is to simply click on the RSS feed you want.
When you do so, a confirmation dialog will pop up and ask you if you want to add it. To do so you should click “Add”.
As you can see, the Times’ Home Page has been added to our Shared Links. You can keep on adding as many RSS feeds as you want.
Another way to subscribe to feeds is to click the “Add Feed” button, which isn’t often reliably consistent. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. When it does work, you will see the feed appear in the “Subscribe to” dialog, and you can then click “Add Feed”.
In cases where the resulting dialog simply says “Item” and doesn’t give you any further options, it’s best to use the method described earlier to add RSS feeds.
To do this on your iPhone of iPad, you will first need to browse to the feed you want to add, then click the open book icon at the bottom of the browser.
Next, click “Subscriptions” button.
All you have to do now is click “Add Current Site” and it will be added to your subscriptions.
Note, your subscriptions will be synced to iCloud so everything matches up from Safari session to Safari session. If you don’t want this to happen, you can turn off syncing though you will lose some valuable functionality if you do.
Adding Social Media Accounts to Safari on OS X
If you want to add your social media accounts, instead of clicking “Add Feed”, click “Add Account”.
The Internet Accounts system preferences page will then appear allowing you to add your social media accounts.
For example, if we want to add our Twitter feed, we’d click on “Twitter” and then enter our username and password.
(If you use two-factor authentication on your social media account, you’ll need to log into its settings and create an application-specific password and use that here.)
Now you see we’ve successfully added our Twitter account to our Safari sidebar.
When we click “Done” at the bottom of the sidebar, you can see that our shared links now also have Twitter updates included.
You can continue to add more RSS feeds and social media accounts to your heart’s content. Instead of browsing from site to site, you can instead leave the sidebar open and receive the latest alerts, posts, and updates from all your favorite sites and friends.
This may not make you more productive, but it will sure cut down on the time you spend surfing around. Even better however, is the simple fact that you don’t need to use an extension or any other application. That alone is worth trying it out.