FeedBurner Moves Onto The Web

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FeedBurner (a Union Square Ventures portfolio company) has been all about feeds for as long as I’ve known them.  I started using FeedBurner to host the feeds from this blog in early 2004, less than a month after they launched their service.

And they’ve done an amazing job of becoming the best choice for hosting feeds, marketing feeds, reporting on feeds, and monetizing feeds. That’s why they host over 280,000 feeds and that number grows every day.

But today, FeedBurner announced something that I think its a big deal. They are now allowing publishers to run FeedBurner powered ads not only in their feeds but also on the publisher’s web pages. I’ve written before about how the feed layout is becoming a metaphor for what the page layout should be.

When advertising can be targeted against a specific post, the ad should be next to the post, not somewhere lost on the sidebar.  This screenshot from FeedBurner’s blog this morning (next to a post about landing Wired, which is pretty big news too) shows how the ads will look.

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If you use FeedBurner and want to turn this feature on, just go to your FeedBurner monetize page and select "configure ads" and look for the check box that says "display ads on my web site".  If its there (it may not be for all publishers, they are going to roll this out gradually), in about two weeks you’ll start seeing ads between your posts.

As Dick Costolo, CEO of FeedBurner says in the blog post announcing this service,

[The} feed meta data [delivers] extra context that’s
available via the feed that provides the framework for new and better
ad units. Ads that shift to the latest permalinks on a site, ads that
only appear/disappear once a post has comments, serialized campaigns on
a page that understand page/article sequence, etc.

The bottom line is this is new web page ad inventory, but also smart inventory that reacts to what is happening with the post it is attached to.  FeedBurner continues to lead the way in monetizing microchunked content and I have to say I am thrilled to have a ringside seat to watch them work their magic.