FeedBurner is a web feed management provider that lets users create RSS feeds for their blogs, websites, and podcasts. It launched in 2004 and was purchased by Google in 2007. We break down its features, its pros, and its cons so you can decide if it the right tool for your content.
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Google deprecated the APIs in 2012. The service remains available, but no development is ongoing.
In addition to delivering feeds, includes useful features and settings bloggers can personalize to promote their feeds. Here are just a few of the features found in FeedBurner:
- Track feed subscriptions inside FeedBurner.
- Customize email subscription messages for followers.
- Add a greeting or subscription request personalized for blog visitors with the Personal Message option.
- Share collected links on a blog by enabling the Link Splicer feature.
- Deliver feed content to blog subscribers through email similar to an e-newsletter with the optional FeedBurner Email service.
Although some of the features that originally made FeedBurner.com popular are no longer available, there are still reasons to use the service, including:
- Ease of Use: FeedBurner is free, and it’s easy to create a blog’s feed using it. Just follow a few simple steps and it’s done. The FeedBurner dashboard is simple to navigate, and Google offers a help center to answer any questions users have.
- Promotion: The widgets and buttons in the dashboard are a handy way to invite people to subscribe to a blog and require no coding knowledge.
- Universal Code: it populates feeds using what it refers to as its SmartFeed service, which makes feeds readable through any device.
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In the early days before Google purchased FeedBurner, subscriber numbers were considered an essential indicator of a blogger’s success and popularity. Those subscriber numbers affected advertising rates and meant something to bloggers and blog readers. As users lost confidence in FeedBurner’s analytics, many bloggers turned to alternatives and were willing to pay to use another tool that provided accurate data.
Here are a few other reasons why bloggers have turned away from FeedBurner:
- Unreliable analytics: The most common complaint about focuses on its unreliable analytics data. For example, users might see 1,000 subscribers one day and 100 subscribers the next day. While the stats seem like a gold mine of information about subscriber trends, click-throughs, breakdowns of feed readers and email services, and much more, that data changes so significantly and so frequently many bloggers who rely on feed statistics are dissatisfied with FeedBurner.
- No subscriber widget: Bloggers still use to create and manage their blog feeds, but Google removed the widget that shows the number of blog subscribers.
- Surrender domain name branding: it uses URLs. Users with established domain names can’t use them.
- Minimal customer support: Google maintains almost no information on FeedBurner on its website.
- Not popular with blog subscribers: Getting blog visitors to use this outdated technology is an uphill journey.
it can’t be used to make money with a blog’s feed by monetizing it through Google AdSense.
FeedBurner is used by large and small web publishers to make their content more accessible to a larger audience. Feeds make it easy to syndicate blog content on other websites or through other syndication providers.
The choice of whether you should use FeedBurner depends on your blogging goals. If you rely on accurate tracking data to make money or grow your blog’s audience and traffic, you’re likely to be disappointed in the data that stats provide. On the other hand, if accurate data isn’t important to you, then FeedBurner is a suitable tool to create and manage your blog’s feed.