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The new simplified FeedBurner has no Publicize features

FeedBurner's "non-core feed management features" are finally shutting down. In addition to the RSS to email service, they are also turning off tools to publicize your blog, including BuzzBoost, Summary Burner and the Headline Animator. 

What appears to be the new simplified FeedBurner interface is occasionally loading for me, and with that access to the Publicize, Optimize, and Analyze services is gone.

This change has been in the works for more than a year. Back in April 2021, FeedBurner announced that as part of a migragration to a "more stable, modern infrastructure", they would would be shutting off its RSS to email service and going into "maintenance mode". There was an update in March of this year that said that the announced migration would be completed "in the coming weeks". 

That shutdown has taken a lot longer than I expected, with emails of my new posts being delivered as recently as this morning.  

But it is happening. 

Read on to learn about: 

  • Deprecation of FeedBurner's Publicize features
  • The new simplified FeedBurner interface
  • About the old Publicize tools: Headline Animator, BuzzBoost, Email Subscriptions, FeedCount, Socialize, ChickletChooser
  • What steps publishers using FeedBurner should take (short version: remove any FeedBurner widgets from your site)
  • Looking for alternatives to BuzzBoost and other Publicize tools

FeedBurner Publicize Services are Deprecated

What I noticed this week was that a widget I was using to automatically show new post titles stopped working. I had used FeedBurner's BuzzBoost to create the widget. 

It turns out that FeedBurner's tools to Publicize your Feed are being turned off, including BuzzBoost.

There isn't any clear notice that these features are turned off, but they aren't working and they have been confirmed as having been disabled as part of the changes announced in 2021.

From the FeedBurner Help Group: "We are in the process of moving over to a new infrastructure stack as part of FeedBurner going into maintenance mode as announced on the FeedBurner homepage.  BuzzBoost is being deprecated as many of the publicize features will be. Your feeds will continue to serve but any added publicize features will no longer function."
   

It's not surprising that the Publicize features are considered non-core features. Most have not been updated in many years. But it's a bummer, because FeedBurner offered easy-to-use free tools for promoting your blog (or any other feed).

The new simplified FeedBurner interface?

In clicking around FeedBurner for this post, every so often a totally new interface opened. It's simple, clean, and only lets you manage your feed title and URL. It looks like this probably will be the new FeedBurner interface. 

Here's a quick visual comparison: 


Comparison of the old and new FeedBurner home page. Click to enlarge.

The classic FeedBurner home page has the deprecation announcement, links to long-abandoned blogs, and a retro design.

The new FeedBurner home page is much simpler. There a Create Proxy button (formerly "burn" a feed), and the option to "Manage Proxy" for each of your existing feeds.


Comparison of the old and new FeedBurner feed management options. Click to enlarge.

In classic FeedBurner there are a number of tools that let you "Analyze", "Optimize", "Publicize" or "Troubleshootize" your feed. 

New FeedBurner only lets you update the feed title, original URL, custom URL and podcast enclosure settings. It also has a button to Export email subscriptions.

Classic FeedBurner's Publicize Features


Here's a quick look at the publicize features that are being deprecated.

Headline Animator


FeedBurner Headline Animator (yes the example date is January 2007)

Headline Animator let you configure a simple graphic with rotating headlines from your feed that you could easily embed on other sites.

Now there is just a broken image icon when you try to preview the widget

BuzzBoost


FeedBurner BuzzBoost

BuzzBoost let you republish your feed as HTML. 

Once this service was activated, you could copy-paste the script for the widget on another site. Feeds can be configured to show only headlines, which is how I had it set up. 

Now there is just a blank space instead of the embedded feed.

Email Subscriptions


As I mentioned above, at least some Email Subscriptions are still being delivered.  Learn how to export your FeedBurner email subscribers.

If you are reading this post as an email from FeedBurner, be sure to sign up for my newsletter instead, so you don't miss a post.

FeedCount


FeedBurner FeedCount

FeedCount let you customize a small chicklet showing your feed subscriber count, that you could then embed on your own website. 

I notice that while my feed still has about 1400 subscribers, the FeedCount preview only shows "1 reader". I don't know if that means only one person is receiving or reading my feed emails, or if FeedBurner just stopped counting. 

Socialize


FeedBurner Socialize with deprecation notice

The Socialize service would publish your new article links to social media. Most recently, Twitter was the only social site feeds would be published to. 

Socialize was deprecated in October 2019

ChickletChooser


Old FeedBurner ChickletChooser

ChickletChooser lets you configure clickable images to subscribe to the feed. 

In addition to the traditional RSS feed icon, there are feed reader services like Feedly and Netvibes, and this show of FeedBurner love: 

I heart FeedBurner

I expect feedburner.google.com will eventually stop serving the images, but for now these still work. 

What you need to do: Remove FeedBurner widgets ASAP

If you are using any of these FeedBurner widgets to publicize your blog, it's time to remove them. 

  • Check your website or blog's layout and widgets FeedBurner code and remove it.  
  • Consider whether you are using these widgets to promote your blog in a forum or other site, and remove them or have them removed by the site owner.
  • If you haven't yet backed up your email subscriber list, now is really the time to do that.

You don't want vistors to see a broken image icon or blank space where the widget stopped working. 

Related tutorials: 

What are the alternative tools to publicize your blog? 

RSS Feed Widgets

I am still exploring alternative services to create feed widgets that are as easy to use (and cheap) as FeedBurner. 

Note that Blogger offers a Feed widget and WordPress.com offers its own RSS Widget for displaying feed headlines. 

What I am looking for is a widget I can use on non-Blogger, non-WordPress sites. Some third party tools also offer widgets for Twitter and other social media sites. 

Here are a few that I am considering: 

This is a really basic free RSS feed widget creation tool. If you just want a list of headlines, this is it. It includes a "Powered by Web RSS" link.

Pricing: Free with registration.

Offers stylish templates with featured images.  They offer RSS, Instagram and Facebook feeds.

Pricing: There is a free option (with registration) that includes FeedGrabbr branding. Paid plans start at $4 per month.

Modern-looking easy to create widgets with many templates. Most are image-heavy.

Pricing: Free includes 2 feeds, 1 widget and RSS.app ads. Paid plans with more features start at $8.32 per month.

Straightforward feed widget creator. Offers advanced options for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google Calendar feeds.

Pricing:  Lowest priced option is $0.75 per month, which includes 1 feed, 1 widget, with FeedWind branding.

Customizable Social Media and RSS Feed widgets. Says they are GDPR compliant. 

Pricing:  Free plan allows one source feed and up to 300 views per month, with the Common Ninja logo. Paid plans start at $3.19 per month. 

Feed Reader "Follow" Buttons

You can get "Follow" buttons for popular feed readers. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Blogger Subscription Links gadget

Add this to your Blogger blog's Layout. I have it set up on the right sidebar. 

 Downside: it is not configurable, and hasn't been updated with current feed reader services.

  • Feedly Button

Use the Feedly Button setup page to get your official button code. Nice, easy, eyecatching.

follow us in feedly

  • SubToMe Universal Follow Button
SubToMe offers a customizable script you can add to your site and a WordPress plugin. Supported readers include Feedly, The Old Reader, Feedbin, Wordpress Reader, NewsBlur, InoReader and more.

Read SubToMe's information for publishers.
  • Social Media Buttons

If you promote your blog on social media, add a button to make it easy for people to follow you. You can use an official button (for example from Twitter), a service like the customizable AddThis follow button, or find a set of social media icons you like and link them to your social profiles.

Let me know what you are using the comments!

Related: Alternatives to FeedBurner's RSS to Email service (and why I chose a newsletter)

Thanks to my fellow Blogger Product Expert Matti nescio for pointing out the discussion in the FeedBurner Help Community.

Comments

  1. FYI, although I am now getting the "new" minimalist interface for using Feedburner, I can still access the old interface if I go directly to this URL: https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/myfeeds

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can confirm this no longer works for me. Does it still work for you? I can still access other old pages, but not the homepage and analytics.

      Delete
  2. I'm struggling to see the point of Feedburner without any publicize features - we have feeds, but cannot actually DO anything with them??? Or am I missing something?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think your one reader is yourself, as the owner of the feed. I deleted all my subscribers except myself = 1 reader.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My URL is TechnologyForever.ca and I'm trying to get an email subscription going. Is the built in "Followers" widget all I need for that?, or should I actually add an RSS feed to my site?.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for this article ... I have been using Feedburner Publicize for years on a few of my sites... and then they stopped working recently. I tried a few options and fell in love with RSS.app... so much so, that I upgraded to their basic paid plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Testing FeedWind now, thanks to your recommendation... also looks very promising.

      Delete
  6. The new minimalistic interface showing right side box written "Configure proxy"! please tell whoever facing this issue, even a single time i haven't able to open old version, because i'm totally new on this... want to impliment rss on my blogger thus i can apply my site to Google news! please anyone help‼

    ReplyDelete

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Spam and personal attacks are not allowed. Any comment may be removed at my own discretion ~ Peggy