Three and a half years ago, Google made what seemed to be a pretty big $100 million acquisition: FeedBurner. You remember that company, right? They’re the ones that dominated RSS management before all of that real time tech came along and rendered it obsolete for many people. Today, Google is putting the real time paddles to FeedBurner’s heart in an attempt to rivive it.
If you visit FeedBurner today, you’ll see a “Try out our NEW (beta) version!” message in the top menu. Clicking on this will take you to the new version. So what’s new? The entire look and feel has been revamped. The new Home screen is loaded up with overview stats and alerts for the sites you run. But the real key, of course, is in the Feeds area.
Here’s you’ll see a completely new way of looking at your subscribers and data. In a move that should surprise no one, it looks a lot more like Google Analytics. But the key is what’s going on behind the scenes. As Google notes:
The real story is what’s new under the hood, however: the new interface provides real time stats for clicks, views, and podcast downloads, which means you can start seeing what content is drawing traffic from feed readers, Twitter, and other syndicated sources as it happens.
In fact, Google mentions Twitter a couple times in their post about the update — more than they mention their own RSS reader product, Google Reader. Clearly, they see where the future of content consumption is heading.
Costolo left Google in July of 2009 after he had already moved on from the FeedBurner team. It seemed pretty clear to many of us that after the acquisition, Google wasn’t putting the resources it should have into the product. And its time at Google has been filled with bugs, problems, and a general growing disinterest from most users.
Maybe that will change now. Maybe. This update is about two years too late.