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When Firefox 64 is released in December, the browser no longer supports RSS. Sister technology Atom will no longer be supported either. Mozilla came to this decision because the techniques would not be used enough to continue to support them.

That’s what Gijs Kruitbosch, a software developer working on Firefox within Mozilla, writes in a blog post. After looking at the maintenance, performance, and cost of maintaining the features, Mozilla decided that it was no longer profitable to support the technology.

Not used enough

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, and is a format that makes it easy to track the content feeds of websites. The technology dates from 1999 and was very popular for some time, but has since disappeared from various applications and services. Mozilla put the demolition in the course of 2011, when it decided to remove the RSS button from Firefox. The reason it gave at the time is the same as it is now: the function was simply not very popular.

At the same time, fans of RSS and Atom – a similar technology – think that the reason is somewhere else. RSS allows consumers to view web content without actually having to visit a site. As a result, the many analytics scripts are not running and no data is collected about users. At the same time, companies such as Facebook and Google have developed alternative techniques to RSS, so it is not useful for them to promote them.

In recent years, support for RSS has fallen more often than not. For example, Apple decided in the course of 2012 to discontinue support for RSS in Safari. The Chocolate Factory stopped its Reader software in 2013 and stopped supporting RSS for Google Alters. Twitter did the same by removing RSS support from its API, something that Google also did when it pulled the subscription button from Google News.

Users of RSS and Atom will be able to use Firefox addons to view feeds.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.