Bloglines announced today that they are closing Oct. 1. I’ve used them since 2004, and while it’s trailed Google Reader for several years, it’s remained my favorite. Also I still have some marked items since 2004, I haven’t gotten around to reading.
So I’ll switch to Google Reader, but even that’s a twindling market.
But people no longer seem to be abandoning certain readers for others—or for other ways to access those same feeds. Instead, they appear to be abandoning RSS readers as a way to read the news altogether. Hitwise, for instance, tells us that visits to Google Reader are down 27 percent year-over-year, while visits to Bloglines are down 71 percent year-over-year. comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) figures show that traffic to Bloglines has largely stagnated:
TechCrunch summarized Bloglines’ demise this way:
Bought by IAC’s Ask.com in February 2005 for around $10 million, the site has been in jeopardy ever since the launch of Google Reader long ago, compounded by the shift from RSS to realtime news streams. Over the past few years, the site hasn’t launched any new or innovative features to boost usage. While we’ve heard in the past that IAC was considering shutting down the site, the company held off on killing the site permanently and was looking for ways to refurbish Bloglines.
Last week, the blogging service Vox, owned by Six Apart announced it was closing Sept. 30. I’m still preparing for that close. Vox launched at a time when blogging was hot, but people were concerned about privacy. It’s strength was a family-friendly blogging system where posts could be shared either to anyone on the web, to family, or to friends. That concerned seems to have passed, or it’s such a small group that it cannot be success as a business.
Both products launched with lots of promise, but being mildly successful compared with wildly successful means eventually they ended up in the dead pool.