Atom is similar to RSS, except it has addressed the flaws that were present in the latter. Atom is used by feed readers and/or news aggregators to display a feed of the latest content.
WordPress allows website developers to place an Atom feed into the header of a website. This will be read by feed readers and/or news aggregators. They work by checking sites with Atom feeds for new and updated content on a regular basis and displaying that content through the readers.
Then, when someone using a feed reader sees the updated content from your site, he or she can keep up to date on a websites’ news and content without having to visit that website site to do so. This gives the website the advantage of perpetually placing content in front of users without the users having to choose to first return to the site.
Although many feed readers are separate and distinct programs from web browsers, many browsers are beginning to gravitate towards including their own feed readers. This means that software such as Atom will have increasing value as websites begin seeking to display their content to Internet users—even when those users are not browsing on a given webpage.