FeedBurner: Will Google Shut It Down?

Over the past year or so, Google has been giving us signs that its FeedBurner RSS service is heading into oblivion. Some observations:

    • There is no official Google+ FeedBurner account.
    • In July of this year, Google failed to renew the FeedBurner domain in Japan – feedburner.jp. A listing with Domain Tools indicates the domain is now owned by Satoshi Mito and is now inactive.
    • On July 26th a post on the FeedBurner Blog, known as “AdSense for Feeds” indicated the blog was shutting down because as Google said, “we’re just not generating enough content here to warrant your time, so we won’t be posting here any longer.”
    • On July 26th Google shut down the FeedBurner Twitter account with this message:
    • On October 20th Google shut down the FeedBurner API causing developers who still rely on RSS technology to worry.
    • Google also appears to have stopped offering customer support for FeedBurner. The “Contact Us” email link in FeedBurner no longer works and when I contacted Google I was told “Google doesn’t offer technical or other support for FeedBurner any longer.”

In the event you’ve forgotten how the RSS service works here’s a brief description. Once you connect your RSS feed with FeedBurner, Google caches the feed on its servers and delivers it to those who have subscribed to it. Subscribing to your feed is made easy because an HTML page replaces the XML file in your browser. Owners of the feed may also choose to embed ads in their feeds in order to monetize it. Most importantly, to many, FeedBurner provides a number of statistics such as the number of subscribers and the number of views to your blog posts, for example.

Some argue RSS is “Old School” but developers and podcasters still heavily rely on the service. In September, Dan Benjamin who runs a prominent podcast network, announced he was abandoning ship and moving to another RSS provider.

Many publishers (including me) rely on FeedBurner to publish their RSS feeds. It seems to be time to reconsider this as Google appears to be sending clear signs it could pull the plug on FeedBurner any day now. Hopefully Google will give us ample notice before it does pull the plug so we can look into some of the alternatives. Maybe we’ll look at some of those alternatives in a future post.

Do you use FeedBurner or an alternative provider?

About Brad Friedman

Brad Friedman is president of The Friedman Group, LLC. We work with professionals and business owners to develop strategies and implement Inbound and Social Media marketing to enhance your brand and generate leads and revenue.
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One Response to FeedBurner: Will Google Shut It Down?

  1. Tabitha Casacchia says:

    One frequent perceived technical problem with FeedBurner is the reduced number of subscribers being reported for the blogs using the service. This is not actually a technical problem with FeedBurner, but by the feed readers and aggregators that report to FeedBurner, as FeedBurner collects and tallies from those partners. Usually this problem is connected with one specific RSS reader or client.

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