Pluck, the two year old Texas-based social media company, has announced that it’s planning to shut off its RSS reader product line to focus into other business areas.
A notice on Pluck’s website advises that its RSS readers for Internet Explorer, FireFox and Pluck's web edition will be discontinued from January 7th, 2007. Subscribers will have two months to export their subscriptions to other readers.
The company originated as an RSS aggregator in 2004 and it was the first RSS reader that was integrated into Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
The notice doesn’t give too much information about why the service is closing, but the following statement hints at possible reasons:
“The good news is that RSS reading capabilities continue to develop across the web. You can get them by default in all of your favorite browsers, and RSS-based news reading capabilities are rapidly being baked into your favorite web sites.”
With big players like Google and Microsoft entering the RSS reader market, and integrating RSS into their gmail and Outlook services, life was always going to be tough for a standalone RSS reader.
Nobody in the blogosphere seems too surprised by the decision; Richard McManus at Read/Write Web suggests that market forces were the reason:
“I'm afraid to say that consumer RSS Readers are rapidly becoming commodities and will soon be next to worthless - the real business is white label and enterprise solutions.”
“The market is rapidly maturing for a class of pretty uninspired RSS readers. The ones with staying power will likely be those that incorporate the most compelling social dimension to the service, not just integration into Outlook, or other functional stuff.”