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Exclusive: IAC Finally Kills Off Bloglines

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It’s finally happened. Bloglines,the troubled RSS feed reader owned by IAC, will officially be shut down, the company has told TechCrunch exclusively. The site has had a tumultuous history, so it’s unsurprising that IAC has finally put the platform out of its misery. Bloglines, which is actually operated by IAC Q&A property Ask.com, will be informing users of the news today and will officially be shut down on October 1.

Bought by IAC’s Ask.com in February 2005 for around $10 million, the site has been in jeopardy ever since the launch of Google Reader long ago, compounded by the shift from RSS to realtime news streams. Over the past few years, the site hasn’t launched any new or innovative features to boost usage. While we’ve heard in the past that IAC was considering shutting down the site, the company held off on killing the site permanently and was looking for ways to refurbish Bloglines.

Doug Leeds, President of Ask.com tells us that the reasoning behind closing Bloglines came down to the fact that the market for people who use Bloglines (and RSS readers, he adds) isn’t growing, and is actually shrinking as people shift to realtime news streams such as Twitter to consume content on the web. In IAC’s market research, according to Leeds, there has been a 20 percent decline in people who are consuming RSS feeds as a whole. He says that Ask.com will continue to focus on drive traffic to and enhance its question and answer site.

Bloglines isn’t the first RSS reader to throw in the towel; Newsgator shut down its online newsreader last year. Now, Google Reader is all we have left; though even that product is slowly being replaced. We’ve put Bloglines in the TechCrunch Deadpool.

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