The news that Google Reader is going to be shut down in 4 months is still circulating the blogosphere this evening, with many bloggers expressing dismay for how it will make their jobs more difficult.
But as bad as Google has hurt us, I’m pretty sure they’re not done inflicting pain.
Some time in the next few weeks I expect Google to announce the shutdown of FeedBurner, their RSS feed distribution service.
FeedBurner has always been the red-headed stepchild in the Google family, and there have been rumors circulating for over a year that it would be shut down. After what happened today I’m pretty sure those rumors are about to come true.
FeedBurner was broken today. My daily email for this blog did not go out at the scheduled 1am eastern; it instead was sent out at 8am. That might not mean much to you but it is the first time it has ever happened to me, and I’ve been using FeedBurner for 3 years.
But that’s not all. FeedBurner has also managed to lose around 15% of my subscribers. This started on Friday, but I only noticed today. My subscriber count dropped from 5100 on Thursday to 3500 on Friday, with some of the lost subscribers reappearing on Tuesday (now at 4300). Over the weekend it even hit zero, which I am sure would agree is impossible.
While I would concede that I could have annoyed some reader to the point that they would unsubscribe, I seriously doubt that I am up to the level of pissing off 1600 people at once. That is way above my weight class.
The reason I am pointing out the issues with FeedBurner is that Google Reader had similar problems just over a month ago. And look where it is today.
Folks, I don’t have any evidence that FeedBurner is next on the chopping block but it would make a lot of sense from Google’s viewpoint. They are not making any money from it so why keep it around?
Now would be a good time to start looking for other options, don’t you think?