How long will RSS be ad-free?

You bleeding edge types know about RSS - it's the way you can grab headlines from your fave site and read them via your RSS reader - rather than going to each individual site. Cool huh? We thought so too, and feed since 2000. Even better, you can grab headlines from your fave site and serve them on your blog. It is certainly not just for geeks anymore.

This won't be virgin ad-territory for long though, not now that the US based has appeared. It's even rumored that Lockergnome and (who would have guessed it) ads have already begun, if ever so slowly, testing this ad-virgin territory. explain their idea in their FAQ - "...We started RSSAds because we use RSS and frankly its annoying that sites don't provide the full article text within their RSS feed. Although some users are happy with clicking through to the full text article (and having a banner ad served), we feel its more convenient and quicker for users to read entire articles within an aggregator. This service is the solution to that problem." - forgetting for a moment some banner-less sites have other valid reasons for not feeding their content out like that, copyrighted photographs might be one, for example.

Opinions will naturally differ about the future success or failure of RSS - and advertising in it. On the one hand Lockergnome make the valid point that RSS feeds are unspammable. But what is the RSS-creator decides to sell ad-space in their feed? While it's not SPAM, it's still an ad you didn't expect to get when you signed up for "headlines from X site via RSS", now is it? (btw, LG has a good FAQ on RSS.)

Adverblog reminds us that after all, there are still only 24 hours in a day, which is probably why so many people still haven't bothered installing a feed-reader.

One might predict that sites that sell their feedspace, will loose their RSS subscribers right quick, and probably face too. The beauty of RSS is that the users are in complete control.

Don't worry kids, we won't be stuffing ads in our feed. I'd still love to know what y'all think about ads in feeds - brilliant or bomb?

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

I stumbled onto This blogpost where an annoyed Matt has found some of the feeds he subscribes to have begun with RSS ads. What does he do? He unsubscribes from the feed just like pretty much everyone here thought would happen. I know I would.

blabla's picture

We're doomed.

I think the sites who are going for this idea already do far more advertorial than editorial, and RSS ads are just an extention of that.

If they make it obvious it is an ad however, It won't be long befeore a plugin of sorts starts scrubbing flagged feeds clean of advertising before I read it, like SPAMassasin cleans my emailbox. Lacking that, I would just dump the feed,

yaksox's picture

I've never used a feed-reader so I don't know how ads would look in that, but the idea sounds like the google adsense text ads - 90% of places where they're put they're almost pointless (like on two-bit weblogs) and a little annoying (but still, ten times less offensive than those horrible animated .gifs).
Sites that are successful enough to make money out of rss-feed ads, could just as easy make it out of other kinds of ads on their sites.

Andreas-Udd's picture

Speaking of those google textads... Am I the only one who finds them a little.. rude?

Since many personal blogs carry personal rants and stories about their cats or whatever, the textads usually read 'start your own blog in minutes' or something equally uninteresting. Very 'small' blogs that I look at on occasion I read simply to catch up with what my friends are up
to, they have traffic less than a dozen a day.. Yet they want to slap an ad in my face when I bother to check their personal little rantspace. It looks like they're a little full of themselves (more so than when they started the blog), if they think I will stand their annoying ads just to read about kitty-litter-box adventures. Since these blogs are so personal etc, they look quite the sell outs when they litter their webpages with googles textads. It's even more pathetic when they host these blogs free or near-free, using prepackaged free blogware - WHAT exactly do they want their google-pennies for? In short, textads are uncool.

Bigger websites is another matter. Like Kuro5hin, or metafilter. It's a good way for those who have such extreme traffic as they do to support their community sites without slapping blinking flash-banners in our faces, and with their wide array of topics, and long
pieces written, there is far more variation in the ads served.

Dabitch's picture

In related web-adnews, it seems that DoubleClick has finally gotten a profit... (thanks Lisa)

Andreas-Udd's picture

Well congratulations DoubleClick. I didn't bother to read the whole article as some annoying Virus-ad kept distracting me.

More related news then. Advertising is already in the hated (buffering..buffering...buff....) Realplayer, and IM apps are already spammed.

Three out of every four home and work Internet users, or 76 percent of active Web surfers, access the Internet using non-browser-based applications including media players, instant messengers and file sharing devices, according to Nielsen//Net Ratings. And these apps provide a fertile ground for advertising. It's an opportunity that more and more advertisers seem to be embracing.

from Internet news which goes on to suggest that AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo messenger, realplayer, Media player and other messenger services are "prominent real estate, definitely."

I knew I shunned all those things for a reason.

kamari's picture

Adverblog has misunderstood - reading via feeds saves plenty of hours a day, unless of course it's the installing of software that's the timewaster. I use Bloglines to read adland and ten, fifteen other feeds from my already installed browser. Works like a charm really, and saves me time.