Bloglines has unveiled a new skin for its public beta site and has announced that it will start displaying ads on its start page. The new skin for the beta is is quite well done and definitely an improvement over the regular Bloglines interface, as well as the last version of the beta skin. The really interesting news, however, is that Bloglines now, for the first time, features advertising on its service after it had originally abandoned the idea when it created a major controversy back in 2005.Today,
Back in 2005...
Also in 2005, a number of long discussions about advertising on Bloglines and in RSS aggregators in general kept the blogosphere quite busy. Back then, many publishers protested when Bloglines announced that it was planning to put contextual ads next to their content, and in the end, Bloglines backed off from the idea and did not feature any advertising on its site until today. This early controversy around advertising in RSS aggregators probably also led most of Bloglines' competitors like Newsgator or Google Readerto shy away from putting ads on their services as well.
For Now, Ads on Start Page Only
The difference this time, however, is that Bloglines is only putting the ads on the start page, where Bloglines only displays information about the service itself and doesn't feature any external content. According to a post on the Bloglines blog, Bloglines is also pursuing other monetization options within the feed reader, though the post does not go into any specifics.