Bloggkoll.com has been a successful Swedish local blog reader service, but the founders are now looking for international markets and have changed the name accordingly to Bloglovin.com. The service has been available as Bloglovin’ since September, and gathered from 15 000 to 60 000 visits per week, but now the name has been changed to Bloglovin’ for good.
The site offers essentially a simple mass market service to stay aware when new posts are available, having them all in the same place for easier and quicker access, and prevent forgetting the addresses of blogs.
The features are really simple. Each time you log in you see how many new unread posts you have, and also you’ll see right away which blogs have been popular today (ranked by the amount of new followers subscribed during the same day), and can select a second tab to view the most popular blogs (in terms of total subscribers). This is a nice feature for first-time visitors, as you can instantly get started even if you didn’t know many blogs. For adding blogs on your reading list you use the search function to find the blog you’re looking for, and if not already in the service, you can add a new blog with its URL. Another nice way to make things easier with not having to know the URL necessarily, if you’ve just heard the name of some interesting blog. And there’s also the recommendation service “if you liked this, then try out these blogs also”. It’s possible to create different groups as well to classify the different blogs you’re following.
I couldn’t find too much regarding the business model; however, there’s an interesting micropayment option called Spotlight – with 10 SEK (close to 1 EUR or 1,20 USD) you can get your blog to be visible to everyone currently using the service for 5 minutes. The payment is done by SMS, but currently works with Sweden only. Very nice idea, but would need quite a big user base and further categorization to generate sizeable revenues – theoretically with just one slot, fully booking 24h would generate just 288 EUR per day (or 2880 SEK/345 USD).
The founders themselves state on the web page they feel the other readers are “technical, boring and cluttered with features”, so they rather wanted to create a dead-simple service with user-friendly interface for those who just want things to work. This kind of service could indeed hit the main stream, as there might be room for a simple reader that just does the core trick without any distractions, and recommends new blogs on the side. However, it’s not going to be an easy task in terms of discovery, and also I’m not sure what the sustainable competitive advantage of the service would be, preventing some other players from stealing the users. Nevertheless, right now the service delivers on its promise. Also interestingly, most of the founder team is around 20 years old, so kudos to the guys for going for it!