Publishing platform Medium acquires feed API Superfeedr

Steven Loeb · June 3, 2016 · Short URL:

Superfeedr makes it easier to subscriber to content, or push content, faster and easier

Publishing platform Medium has been putting more power into the hands of publishers, and making itself into a publishing powerhouse.

Now the company is making it easier for publishers to push their content to subscribers, with the acquisition of Superfeedr, a provider of unified Feed API. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Founded in 2009, Superfeedr says it "simplifies how users handle RSS, Atom, or JSON feeds," by fetching and parsing  them on behalf of its users and then pushing those users the new entries in these feeds. Superfeedr has both an XMPP and a PubSubHubbub API, which make it easy to subscribe to content or push content to subscribers quickly and efficiently. 

For publishers, it helps with content discovery and SEO, as well as distributing content to applications like Flipboard, Feedly or BlogLovin. 

The company's users include Etsy, IFTTT, FirstRain, and PlayerFM.

"Superfeedr exists in order to enable people to exchange information on the web more freely and easily," Julien Genestoux founder and CEO of Superfeedr, wrote in a blog post.

He called getting acquired by Medium "a very natural fit," since the company "wants to create the best place to publish, distribute and consume content on the web."

"As we want the open web to remain strong, we were delighted to find that the folks at Medium share the same values. And we think that Superfeedr’s acquisition is a powerful indicator of Medium’s support for open protocols," said Genestoux.

Going forward, the company will remain independent of Medium, though Genestoux said he is already working to enable full content RSS feeds both for publications and users on the site. 

"Medium already lets you add your own domain name, import and export all of your posts, point to a canonical URL if you cross-posted, supports DNT… and we’ve started working on more!" he said.

Superfeedr had raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Betaworks and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in 2009.

Medium, which was founded by Ev Williams, who also co-founded Twitter, is coming off a $50 million funding round that it raised in April, giving it $132 million in funding, and valuing the company at $600 million.

Buying Superfeeder seems to fit into Medium's strategy of giving power to publishers, and giving them tools that make it the publishing platform on the Web. In April the company debuted new tools, allowing publications to customize color, layout, and navigation, as well as the ability to migrate existing blogs to Medium.

It also gave publishers more options for revenue-generation, including Promoted Stories and Membership, where Medium will offer members-only content and other perks to readers, in exchange for a monthly membership fee paid directly to the publication. 

"Right now on the web, publishers are forced to spend time and money maintaining their aging content management systems. Expensive redesigns inevitably fail to keep up with the rapid pace of technological innovation," the company said at the time. 

"On Medium, publishers have full control over their content and spend exactly zero time, money, or effort on tech and hosting, instead focusing their resources on producing great content and reaching new audiences."

The site is said get between 25 and 30 million vistors every month.

This is only Medium's second acquisition ever. It last purchased Matter, a Kickstarter-funded long-form journalism site dedicated to science and technology, all the way back in 2013. 

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