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Google Bulletin will shut down in two weeks, recommends Blogger as alternative

Google Bulletin sent out notices today that it will be shutting down in two weeks.

Bulletin was launched in January 2018 as a way for users to share hyperlocal stories with images and video as they were happening. It is a progressive web app, so there is no need to install anything on your mobile device to start posting.

There were a number of updates since its launch, including using AMP Stories so that the stories look great on the mobile web. The focus was posting events - community meetings, sporting events, neighborhood concerts, "wild weather" - as they were happening, although stories could be edited after the fact.
I created a couple of stories, received the swag you can see in the top photo, but never really got into posting.  There were two main reasons why I rarely used Bulletin:

I didn't want to fuss with posting while I was at a local event. I do usually take photos, but that doesn't disrupt my experience the way trying to create a "story" does.

And Bulletin was disconnected from the rest of the Google ecosystem. There was no integration with Google+ (RIP) or Blogger for posting, either of which might have been a natural way to help spread a story. And there was no link to Google Photos or Drive for adding - or archiving - content.

Ultimately there wasn't a clear benefit of posting to Bulletin over posting a story to Instagram or Facebook (where there is already an audience) or creating a more in-depth blog post.

The idea seemed to be that you would create the story and promote it on the social networks of your choice. The resulting stories were optimized to appear in the Google Search results.

But Bulletin never made it out of "pilot" status.

Today I received a notice from Google Bulletin that in "two weeks" the app will no longer be accessible and stories will no longer be publicly visible.
Bulletin users have until November 22 to download a copy of their stories using the link in the email notification.  Bulletin content is not downloadable through Google Takeout.

Bulletin recommends using a Blogger blog as an alternative. It's not the same - Blogger doesn't use the mobile optimized AMP Stories format, doesn't have a "live update" feature, and the current mobile experience isn't great (although Blogger is working on that).

But Blogger is integrated into the Google ecosystem and allows for more detailed text reporting. If you have been using Bulletin, give Blogger a try!

Unfortunately there isn't any way to import your Bulletin Stories directly into Blogger. You will have to manually create new posts, add the text and upload the images and videos that you can find in your downloaded Bulletin archive..

Ultimately I think Bulletin was a neat experiment, that demonstrated that it could be easy to create live-updating content on mobile. It's given me some ideas for feature requests to submit to Blogger.

While it is still up, you can see one of the Bulletin stories I created here. It looks best on a mobile device (even though I mostly took non-mobile-friendly landscape-oriented images).

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