For the interesting services that Google offers, one of the most mysterious is Blogger.
Since Google purchase Pyra Labs, which owned Blogger.com, it is almost like Google has happily ignored it. In the meantime, WordPress has emerged as the dominant blogging platform, while Tumblr has also become popular and Twitter is the dominant micro-blogging service.
The curious part about Blogger is how Google did nothing with it to the point where it looked antiquated.
It begs the question why did Google has not be more aggressive with one of the world’s most popular blogging services? There might not be a good answer but you can’t help but think Blogger has failed to capitalize on its potential over the past eight years.
This makes for interesting discussion given Blogger just introduced a “fresh new look” with a design overhaul that came after Google did interviews to “identify how to make Blogger even easier and more enjoyable to use”.
The question is whether anyone cares. If you look at Blogger’s traffic, the number of unique visitors in the U.S. has tumbled by 50% over the past year to about six million/month (See the graph below).
The problem with Blogger is it’s not cutting-edge or cool. For anyone starting a blog, WordPress would be front and centre because it offers more flexibility by offering hosted and self-hosted options. As well, WordPress has an army of developers supporting the platform, which means you can do just about anything imaginable. I’d also pick Tumblr way ahead of Blogger.
WordPress’ popularity and robustness as a content management systems has also seen it become increasingly embraced as a platform for Web sites, not just blogs. In comparison, Blogger, until recently, was pretty much the same as it was in 2003.
Blogger may be the latest property be impacted by a broad design refresh that Google is currently implementing but I doubt it will make much of a difference on how the service is perceived or used.
For more thoughts on Blogger’s decline, eConsultancy has a good read asking whether it’s a matter of too little, too late.