Is Google Feedburner Shutting Down?

Is Google Feedburner shutting down? Many of Feedburner’s related services are gradually shutting down, and it is a matter of concern for Feedburner users who use the service for delivering a single usable RSS feed for their blog. We use Feedburner to deliver daily RSS updates to over 25,000 RSS subscribers.

Ever since Google acquired Feedburner in 2007, they have not put much effort in upgrading its services or optimising it for further promotion and expanding their user base. I’m sure millions of blogs use feed burner to power their primary RSS feed. Yet it is difficult to understand why Google would not put in more effort to promote and expand this extremely useful service.

Google Feedburner Closing?

feedburnerAdSense for feeds closed – The latest Google spring cleaning casualty has been Google AdSense for feeds, which powered advertising revenue from RSS feeds, and is now shut down. If you remember, they had earlier shut down the AdSense for feeds blog. We had also used AdSense for feeds for quite some time, but it didn’t earn much revenue; maybe it was the same for many publishers, so I guess they were also not earning much commission from it.

Poor feedburner support – Was your feed burner count showing zero subscribers recently for the last few days? Well they acknowledged the bug on the Feedburner status blog, but took several days to fix it, indicating lower level of technical support and public delivery for the service.

Feedburner blog shut – Did you know that Google shut down the official Feedburner blog earlier, and wants to discontinue Twitter account as well. That is a strong indicator that they do not seem to be interested in continuing further updates on the service.

Feed burner .jp domain expired – the Feedburner Japan .jp domain name expired, and has not been renewed. This means that all the feeds on those URLs are gone!

Feed burner API closed – they had earlier declared that they will shut feed burner API for developers. That shows they have no interest in further developing the service.

There is enough writing on the wall and Google is giving enough indications that people need to look for alternative services.

Feedburner is incredibly useful

We have been using Feedburner as our publicly usable RSS feed ever since the creation of this blog over seven years ago on Blogger. Many people use feedburner because of a wide range of RSS feed modification facilities available in the service. Some notable ideas are like a feedflares, free email subscriptions, ability to display feed content in browsers in a readable format by SmartFeed, RSS subscription options and much more. Often we noted,  Feedburner feeds do not update – but of course there was a way to fix Feedburner feed updates. Sometimes there was a Feedburner size issue as it did not allow more than 512 KB of the content.

QOT even got added to their popular Feedburner Computing & Technology Channel with over 15,000 subscribers in 2008. In fact I remember how our feed count doubled when Feedburner started grabbing Google reader results. The Feedburner reader count chicklet is particularly very popular on blogs and common method to show off the large number of your RSS readers. While some prefer to hide feed counts, others go ahead into  fake reader counts.

Feedburner Mybrand allowed premium users to host Feedburner on your domain, and later this feature became free to all users. So it was a good idea to switch your official feed burner URL to your own domain name URL, which would be beneficial if you ever needed to redirect your feeds. Learn how to update DNS settings to fix Feedburner mybrand issues. You should do it right now too. See how our Feedburner feed url switched


A very important use which we had of keeping a publicly available feedburner feed was that you could change source feeds, and the subscribers would not have too subscribe to a new feed. For example when the switched from Blogger to WordPress in 2006, we simply change the source feed from blogger to WordPress feed, while the Feedburner URL stayed same and subscribers did not need to resubscribe feed again. Had this not been there, we would have lost thousands of subscribers!

Another important use of this has been the earlier we used to use Yahoo pipes to add and mash multiple RSS feeds to create a new Yahoo pipe feed which we used to source the main Feedburner RSS feed. This allowed us to deliver content to our users from multiple blogs by mashing of these feeds, but the single Feedburner URL stayed the same. When the blog was down on our earlier shared hosting downtimes, we could source our status blog feed to Feedburner and keep delivering updates to our readers.

I think another very important feature is that it offers free RSS to email subscription services for an unlimited number of subscribers. We recently shifted to Feedblitz as complex captchas were getting difficult, and Feedblitz offered a free (though ad-based) email subscription service for it’s very old time users. Otherwise Feedblitz also offers paid subscription models for new users. Several other alternative options for RSS to e-mail circuits and services like Aweber, Mailchimp are expensive if you have thousands of email list subscribers and send out frequent emails regularly.

We think Feedburner is an incredibly useful service, and Google should utilise the huge base of RSS users to make an even greater service out of it. I really do hope that Feedburner continues.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.