Blogger, the blogging platform Google acquired back in 2003, is somehow still alive and kicking, even though few people remember it still exists. But alive it is — and it’s even getting some updates to its Google+ integration that will see all those 20 people still on Google+ rejoice.
After a year of inactivity, Blogger’s own news blog sprung to live this morning with a brief update that lays out the changes. Google calls this a “spring cleaning,” and we all know what that means: shutting down features.
You probably don’t care, but gone from Blogger are support for third-party gadgets, the Next Blog feature and the polling widget. Soon, OpenID support will be gone, as well, and Textcube.com is also shutting down. What is Textcube.com, you ask? It’s a Korean blogging service Google acquired back in 2008.
But there are also new features, which I’m guessing the sole two engineers still working on this project slaved over for the last year.
Blogger’s Google+ widget integration (yes, try not to laugh) will be transformed into HTML widgets to “give you more flexibility in how you share and see your followers.” Fifteen years after acquiring the service, Blogger now also supports logging in with multiple accounts. Google also today noted that the Blogger infrastructure has moved to Cloud Spanner, Google’s newest database service.
In the near future, you can expect a new video management feature, too. Exciting stuff.
It’s surprising that Blogger is still around. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Blogger site in my searches, and it sure doesn’t have a lot of mindshare. Google also has let the platform linger and hasn’t integrated it with any of its newer services. The same thing could be said for Google+, too, of course. Google cuts some services because they have no users and no traction. That could surely be said for Blogger and Google+, but here they are, still getting periodic updates. I think the writing is on the wall, though, and I wouldn’t expect them to survive the next major Google spring cleaning.