The writing seems to be on the wall that Feedburner may not continue as we know it today. With the Feedburner API deprecated, continued feed troubles (twitter account abandoned!), Adsense for feeds gone, and more it seems the service needs to retire. With the recent shutdown announcement of Google Reader I have no doubt that services like this are on the chopping block.
For the record I am a huge fan of Feedburner. Back in 2006 I created a Marketing and Advertising blog network (monetized through Feedburner). I even know that Google used it in pitches to sell into folks to buy ads against touting big subscriber numbers. Heck, I even got excited when Feedburner crossed the 250,000 feeds mark! I loved this approach as it showed the market size of blogs and their capture of share. Soon after it was sold to Google and I actually went to work for Union Square Ventures, the firm that invested in Feedburner.
I am not sure how many people actively use Feedburner dashboards, a common metric of success of services, but I doubt its usage numbers are growing. There are no ways to monetize feeds any longer, and I don’t know of any monetization efforts that involve the Feedburner system (but I could be wrong). The dashboards themselves and stats seem to be on auto-pilot and have not yet had the facelift that the rest of Google has underwent with the G+ changes and integration. I also do not see a key integration point into the Google+ ecosystem.
Therefore, after reading the tea leaves here, I think that Google Feedburner should park the entire service under the Google Analytics team. They are pioneering the way data is looked at, and are doing some very innovative thinking around external data sources. Its a great home for a service that I am sure is still used by many and could even should some connection points between how people consume content through their RSS feeds.
I don’t have a G+ button on my site, but if my reader count became a “share” button I could not stop them.
Feedburner was a great web service. It deserves a retirement under a service that will keep the system up and running. That is unless web 3.0 is just a monetization wave that takes perfectly good non revenue driving services behind the shed and shoots them…