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SpecificFeeds relaunches as follow.it

We’re excited to announce a key milestone in our development: as of today, we provide our services under the new brand follow.it (formerly SpecificFeeds.com).

Why we made that change

When we reached our goal of 100k websites (publishers) using our services, the question came up how to achieve the next dimension (1 million).

It became clear to us that incremental changes won’t do it. Instead, we asked “If we started all over again, how would we set it up?” – which was quite a painful question at times!

Our conclusion: We need a better…

  1. Domain/brand name: We love descriptive names, and SpecificFeeds did a decent job in this respect (referring to the key idea of making feeds more specific by applying various filters, thereby preventing information overload). However, it was too much of a mouthful, and not easy to remember.

    The name follow.it is short, descriptive, universally understandable, easy to remember, action-oriented (imperative!) and punchy.

  2. Value proposition: While our former story was understandable enough for most, it was not presented in the most convincing way, and also lacked a few elements to make it complete.

    Have a look at our new story for publishers.

  3. Design & UX: While the core functionality matured over the last 6 years, it wasn’t enough to convince all publishers (esp. the big ones) to hop on board. Something else was missing – and our targets didn’t hesitate to tell it to our faces: The design and user experience wasn’t professional enough.

    Hence we developed a new UX from scratch, and gave it the most simple, consistent and straightforward UI design we could think of.

  4. Flexible architecture & more features: Our former architecture was good at what it had to do; however, we received many great ideas for enhancements (thank you – we love our users!) and the question arose if we should build them on what we have, or create something new.

    We decided to do what was most likely the most painful decision of all: spend months on creating a new backbone which ensures future robustness as well as the flexibility to easily add new features to the platform. This happened all under the hood, there’s not much to see yet – be the first to hear about new features by following this blog.

  5. …and a lot more: A relaunch provides a great opportunity to reflect and optimize many other little things (e.g. creating a comprehensive FAQ and documentation, About us section, etc.).

We’re happy to have made it to this (preliminary) finishing line. However, while a lot of work has been done, we feel we’re just getting started. Thank you to all users who shared our path up to this point, we’re looking forward to providing you much more going forward!

Enough about the fancy stuff – back to business…

Changes for publishers

If you’re a publisher you’re probably asking yourself what all those changes mean for you.

The good news: the subscription forms & follow-links (pointing to your feed on follow.it) which you had placed on your site get automatically redirected, i.e. your visitors can follow you as usual – you don’t need to make any changes.

If you show the SpecificFeeds icon (or mention our former brand name), then we encourage you to update the icons (enter your website name here and follow the steps to get access to the new follow.it icons) and update the name respectively.

Note: if you’re using a WordPress plugin to show our icons just update the plugin to the latest version – that will update the icon(s) accordingly.

Our pricing did not change with the relaunch – it remains very affordable, just as before. If you’re not a premium publisher yet, have a look at our pricing and features page. Today is a great day to upgrade! 😉

Changes for readers

No changes required from you – receive your news as always!

One noteworthy point though: the “news page” (the page where you can read your news directly on follow.it) got enhanced significantly. Check it out!

Questions?

Please have a look at our new documentation for publishers and readers. If questions remain, we’re happy to answer them.

 

For future updates, please follow this blog. We prefer to do it this way, rather than spamming you with emails independently from your decision to follow us. This is part of our philosophy – which we will write about more in one of the upcoming blog posts.

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