The Google Reader Shutdown Is Yet Another Nail In Feedburner’s Coffin

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How long until Google shuts down Feedburner? The company just announced that it is shutting down Google Reader on July 1. That’s a sad day for all of us who still regularly use it, but its demise was probably inevitable. Reader had been lingering in a stasis for months (maybe even years) now, especially since Google ripped out its social core in favor of focusing on Google+ and barely dedicated any staff to maintaining it. The last RSS-focused product Google closed was AdSense for Feeds, its ad product for site owners who wanted to monetize their RSS feeds. With Reader and AdSense for Feeds gone, the last RSS product standing at Google is Feedburner – and all signs point to that getting the ax sooner or later, too.

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Just like Google Reader, it’s been a very long time since Feedburner got any updates and everything points at a total neglect of the product at Google: Its stats are sporadically unavailable, it never even got the visual refresh that virtually every other Google product got, the Feedburner blog (now called AdSense for Feeds – after the already closed product…) has been updated three times since April 2010. The FeedBurner Status Blog hasn’t been updated since last September.

I always assumed Google would keep Feedburner on life support for as long as it could, but the fact that they are shutting down Reader shows that they are willing to make these unpopular moves and close products that form the basis of a larger ecosystem (I’m sure the teams at Reeder, Feedly and other Google Reader-based services are scrambling right now). I can’t imagine that Feedburner will live through many more of these spring cleanings given that it is Google’s last RSS-focused product that’s still standing.

If you are actively using Feedburner, I think it’s time to start taking full possession of your feeds again (which isn’t easy). RSS may still be the plumbing that makes a lot of applications tick, but don’t look for Google to provide a platform for RSS much longer.

Image credit: Glen Van Etten on Flickr.