Yes, they are a simple rss reader. No, I do not like them or their shady practices.
Despite the fact that my rss feed contains excerpts, Bloglovin’ displays my full blog posts on their site. To add insult to the injury, they go the extra mile of putting an iframe around my content. As if that wasn’t enough, they add a comment box under your blog post and a subscription opt-in. The best part? Ignoring the fact that those followers do not join my email list, sharing any of my content has their social media handles attached to them.
You are not supporting a small-time blogger when you follow me on Bloglovin’ or escalating my social media reach. You are supporting a greedy and shady business.
The only way to even stop your blog from showing up is to disable rss feeds altogether which only a madman would do. The way Bloglovin’ works is via your site’s RSS reader, meaning that you don’t even have to sign up with them to get your blog on their platform.
Despite the fact that I have followers there, I never get referral traffic from them. Why? Because they are probably eating my page views. What about follower quality? I won’t lie. I’ve seen at least 2-3 followers offering sexual services so they are either bots or enthusiasts spammers. There also seems to be no way to control that!
Years back they were accused of adding a rel=canonical link pointing your content on their site as the original source. Fortunately, this has been fixed as there was great controversy around it.
I do not like Bloglovin’ or any rss readers that incorporates subscription opt-ins to their site or puts an iframe around the content. They are piggybacking off the work of bloggers, writers, etc. so the least they could do is remain respectful about it.
Update: Just learned that Social Warfare effectively breaks the iFrame that Bloglovin tries to set around your site. It’s also a free feature!