Now is the Time to Panic: FeedBurner is Broken Today
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?
Jeremy March 13, 2013 um 11:35 pm
Just noticed the same thing. Huge subscriber drop. Mine has not returned yet.
I think since they dropped the Feedburner API and shut down Google Adsense from running ads in Feedburner last year, they obviously don’t have a future for it.
Sad, because these are some of Google’s most convenient products.
Tristan March 13, 2013 um 11:55 pm
Feedburner stats are notoriously fickle, and them fluctuating wildly is not uncommon. Google "Feedburner stat problems" and you’ll see plenty of previous incidents.
Nate Hoffelder March 14, 2013 um 7:32 am
Yes, but yesterday was the first time I had ever seen the email not be delivered on time. It was also the first time that a problem with the stats stretched out for more than a single day. That was also the first time that 2 problems with the stats happened at once.
Simon March 14, 2013 um 7:32 pm
I dropped all of my Google products last year, because of their platform-wide push towards Google+. I didn’t want the social network spam, and was wary of the privacy issues.
At the time I replaced Feedburner on my self-hosted WordPress blog with Mail Chimp, an email newsletter service. They have a rss plugin that can send blog posts out as email.
You can bet I’m feeling good today.
Rebecca Caroe March 15, 2013 um 8:05 pm
I work for FeedBlitz, a competitor to FeedBurner. Last year in August there was a significant stats outage for the service, compounded by all 'subscriber counts' being set to zero. This panicked a lot of people.
It took days before FeedBurner admitted the issue and longer to resolve it. As a result a lot of bloggers who rely on service continuity chose to switch to our service using our free FeedBurner Migration Guide. http://www.feedblitz.com/the-feedburner-migration-guide/
Let us know if we can help you out.
I recommend backing up your subscriber list in FeedBurner now – it may just be a stats glitch causing the count to drop. And anyway it’s good practice to have a backup.
Lydia August 14, 2013 um 4:57 am
I am so sick of Feedburner. It has been on the blink for weeks now. I am thinking of switching to feedblitz. Not sure how to back up my subscriber list in Feedburner as suggested. Where do I even look to find the subscriber list? Thank you!
Nate Hoffelder August 14, 2013 um 7:35 am
The list of email subscribers can be found under the publicize tab.
Almir Ferreira March 16, 2013 um 12:38 pm
I sincerely hope that Google can continue the feedburner service for a long time, because I don’t know other site that has the same efficiency, not even close.
Kevin March 21, 2013 um 11:15 am
Feedburner drops to ZERO today Mar 21. This means the end is right around the corner. Bye bye subscribers, will miss you ;-(
Nate Hoffelder March 21, 2013 um 11:31 am
My Feedburner stats dropped to nothing on the 18th.
Lori G March 21, 2013 um 1:25 pm
I will change as soon as I can. I’m panicking a bit rightnow because of my 6 blogs, they all show 0 subscribers today. I only had upwards of 300-500 on each blog but still. Please come back feedburner, long enough for me to get my data and switch over if I can.
Monica March 21, 2013 um 2:56 pm
Is it possible to switch to FeedBlitz…and transfer subscriptions from feedburner right now when feedburner seems to be down? I tried subscribing to my own blog to get the message that I’m already subscribed; implying that I still have subscribers in there somewhere even though the counter says 0.
Is Mailchimp just as good?
Nate Hoffelder March 21, 2013 um 3:05 pm
Unfortunately there is no way to "transfer" subscribers as a group. You’ll need to ask them to subscribe to the new feed.
Gabriel Ursan June 29, 2013 um 5:25 am
Same problem here :(. If my subscribers return in the Feedburner list I will run away to MailChimp in a second.
Nate Hoffelder June 29, 2013 um 6:10 am
This is a problem that has been happening on a weekly basis for me.
Edit: Including this week, when my subscriber count dropped to zero and then recovered.