Hi friends, today I found out a little tidbit that apparently is old news already but I don’t think many of us know. Most of us, if not all, love that little Google Followers widget in our sidebar, don’t we.
It is such a wonderful sight to see those smiling faces smiling back at you. And even if we don’t want to admit it, seeing that number of followers going up, makes us really happy.
Many of you use that followers widget to subscribe to a blog, because with one click it will add the feed of that blog to your Reading list in your Blogger dashboard. And from there you can read those blogs.
Well things are about to change.
Google announced that they will start to fade out the service of Google Friend Connect
(that is the official name of the service behind that widget). Starting in March the followers gadget will no longer work on non-blogger blogs.
So if you run your blog through WordPress or Typepad or any other service but blogger the gadget will no longer work on your blog.
AND if you follow blogs that are on WordPress or Typepad via the Google Friend Connect you will not get updates anymore.
The ones in the loop in the Blogosphere expect that it won’t be long after that, until the Google Friend Connect will be discontinued overall, then it won’t work on Blogger blogs anymore either.
There are different opinions about why Google is doing this, but the most commonly cited reasons are that Google wasn’t making any money with it and that they want to push people into using Google+ as an alternative.
So if you are still asking people to become a follower of your blog when entering giveaways and such you might as well stop doing that.
And if you are relying on your Blogger dashboard to follow blogs it might be a good idea to start investigating other options.
So what do you think? Do you use the followers gadget to actually follow and read a blog? Will you miss it? What do you think would be good alternatives?