Now that the dust has settled from the disappearance of Google Friend Connect (GFC) from all non-Blogger blogs, I thought I’d post a followup examining how much the discontinuation affected people.
Those of us who never had the GFC widget on our blogs weren’t affected at all. Same goes for those who have Blogger blogs and still have GFC (for the moment).
But many bloggers had used the GFC widget. At the very least, we might have fewer readers now. Or our newsletter subscribers might be gone.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, I fell at the low end of GFC integration. I had the GFC widget on my blog, but I never promoted it for more followers. Regardless of that fact, the loss of GFC affected me. Did it affect you the same way? Let’s take a look.
No Google Friend Connect = Fewer Feed Readers?
I use Feedburner for my RSS feed, and I’d assumed Feedburner reflected only those readers who had subscribed to my blog via RSS. Wrong. Both GFC and Feedburner are Google products, so of course they’d been integrated beyond what I knew.
What this means is that people who had signed in to my GFC widget also counted toward my Feedburner subscriber total. Most of those users didn’t see the blogs they signed into via GFC in their Google Reader, but the GFC/Blogger Dashboard has a mini-feedreader built in.
I didn’t know my Feedburner numbers also included GFC followers and wasn’t just RSS subscribers. Silly me. While two-thirds of my GFC followers had also subscribed to my RSS feed, about one-third had not. How do I know?
Here’s the graphic for my all-time Feedburner stats:
The green line shows my subscriber number increasing—until the blue arrow points out March 1st, the date GFC disappeared for all non-Blogger blogs. That dip represents the number of people who had followed me via GFC but not RSS subscription.
Luckily, I don’t care about numbers, or else the sudden disappearance of a bunch of “readers” would have depressed me. *smile* I know the reality is many people joined sites via GFC and then never visited again.
My only concern about the missing one-third of GFC followers is that some of them were reading my blog in their Blogger Dashboard. All of a sudden, my blog disappeared from their “Blogs I’m Following” list (from what I can tell), and I don’t expect any of them were devoted enough to my blog to notice it isn’t there anymore. (Heck, I wouldn’t notice if Twitter accidentally unfollowed one of my BFFs.) We don’t notice things that are missing. We just don’t.
Those who wanted to follow my blog might eventually find their way back through a Twitter link or something. And maybe they’ll realize they haven’t seen my recent posts in their Dashboard. And maybe they’ll figure it out and subscribe to my RSS feed. Or maybe they won’t.
Life is too short to worry about such things, but from a curiosity perspective, I wondered if I was the only one who saw this dip in feed readers. So let’s compare notes.
- If you had followed me via GFC, do you still see my blog in your Blogger Dashboard list, or has it disappeared?
- If you had GFC on your blog (and no longer do), have you noticed an ongoing traffic decrease as of March 1st?
- If you had GFC and Feedburner, do your all-time stats show a dip like in my graphic above?
- Have you noticed any other effects from the GFC disappearance?
We can’t do anything to fix the situation, but maybe by comparing notes, we can help each other feel better about those “missing” readers. *smile*Pin It