You would think that, almost exactly 4 years after opening up to the public, WordPress.com would have a way for people to subscribe to blogs by e-mail, right? You’d be wrong, at least until today.
While there has always been the possibility to subscribe to blogs by e-mail using FeedBurner or other RSS facilitators, WordPress .com’s parent company Automattic has now added an email subscription feature to the popular free blogging service.
To enable this, simply install the Blog Subscription widget on your WordPress.com blog and you’ll enable anyone to get updates from your blog in their e-mail inboxes, whether they’re WordPress.com users or not, on a per post basis, daily or weekly. Evidently, all subscriptions require confirmation by the address owner and can be canceled at any time.
E-mailed blog posts will come in as HTML, although users can opt to receive them in plain text too should they still be using a mail client sans HTML reading capabilities (seriously, does anyone still use those?).
I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that Automattic has only added its very own e-mail subscription feature now, on the verge of entering the year 2010. E-mail is such a huge deal still, and shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought even by ‘new media’ companies like them.
Good thing they ask us to stay tuned, because they have a ‘lot more plans for email’. What, like the ability to send in blog posts for publication by e-mail like Posterous and Tumblr have been doing for quite a while? Update: as Automattic’s Ranaan points out in comments, that was already possible, my bad. Looking forward to their future plans with e-mail.
(You can subscribe to the TechCrunch e-mail newsletter here)