These days you might still get an email newsletter that is powered by Google’s FeedBurner.
Founded in 2002, Feedburner blazed trails by giving bloggers traffic analysis of their RSS feed and email newsletter. As of October 5, 2007, FeedBurner hosted over a million feeds for 584,832 publishers, including 142,534 podcast and videocast feeds.
Since Google acquired Feedburner in 2007, the service didn’t see any upgrades. In fact on May 26, 2011, Google announced that the FeedBurner APIs were deprecated. Then Google shut down the APIs on October 20, 2012.
I used Feedburner for many years. I loved it. Consistent and dependable. However, in today’s terms it’s lacking in customization and advanced analytics. Somehow, Google hasn’t killed this service yet.
You can tell if an email newsletter is from Feedburner by their distinctive footer.
I love that Feedburner is still rocking the same old links in their email footers. Looking at these links gives us a little bit of internet history.
Does anyone say this? Twit this? Back in 2007, people did, as Mashable reports, ‘the ability to add a “TwitThis!” button to your site to encourage Twittering by your readers.’
Add to del.icio.us
This bookmarking site has changed hands several times over the years.
- 2003: Delicious founded
- 2005: Acquired by Yahoo
- 2007: Name changed from del.icio.us to delicious.com
- 2011: sold to AVOS Systems
- 2014: sold to Science Inc
- 2016: Delicious Media, a new alliance, assumed control of the service. Renamed back to del.icio.us
- 2017: acquired by Pinboard, and the bookmarking service was discontinued in favor of Pinboard’s paid subscription-based service. Existing bookmarks are available as the site is in read-only mode.
Yet Google’s Feedburner still refers to it by its original name.
From 2004 to 2010, Digg was one of the most popular link sharing websites. Everyone posted “Digg This” buttons on their site. But Digg’s version 4 overhauled the site, and millions of users left the site for Reddit.
From 2002 to 2007, Technorati was a decent blog search engine. Around 2008 the company shifted to being an ad platform. You could no longer search blogs with their site.
Add to Mixx!
I have never heard of Mixx, yet Feedburner apparently thinks it was cool enough at some point.
Feedburner called these links “FeedFlare”
Apparently there used to be at least 101 of them. Google published a “101 FeedFlare Ideas” list, but the link now redirects to the Google Developer page. The FeedFlare Catalog is still up, but nothing is listed. (screenshot archive)
For the best write-up of Feedburner’s history, check out:
Google’s Zombie: Why FeedBurner, a service that Google once bought for $100 million, has become the one service it literally can’t kill. Written by Ernie Smith, he speculates on why Feedburner still exists.
For archival purposes, here’s a screenshot of how the FeedFlare options page looks like in Feedburner. This page is still active to this day for Feedburner users.