Really Simple Syndication (RSS) allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable document. The RSS document is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel".
An RSS document is formatted in a standard XML file. The XML format ensures compatibility across devices and systems. An RSS feed can include a full or summarized text and metadata, like a published date and author's name.
RSS feeds benefit users who want to receive timely updates from websites or to aggregate data from many sites.
With RSS, a user can keep track of many different websites using a single news aggregator. The news aggregator automatically checks the RSS feed for new content and then, automatically allows the content to pass (called syndication) from website to website, or from website to user.
Sites that release frequently updated information or content like blog posts, breaking news, audio, and video commonly use RSS feeds to pass their information along to other websites and users.
RSS feeds are convenient for users because subscribing to a website's RSS feed removes the need for the user to manually check the website for new content. Instead, their browser constantly monitors the site and informs the user when updates have been made. Furthermore, the browser can be configured to automatically download the new data for the user.