Bloglovin as Google Friend Connect Replacement / Alternative

Google Reader Alternative GFC AlternativeIf you missed the drama today after Google announced its upcoming axing of Google Reader on July 1, I wonder where you have been?? With Google Reader going, there won’t be much point for Google Friend Connect (as the only thing it really does is adding the newly subbed blog to the Blogger Dashboard & Google Reader. This is another step in Google’s ploy to take over the world force the world onto their shoddy Google+ service.

But screw them I say!

Let’s go with BlogLovin as a Google Friend Connect Replacement instead!

Why? Because! Because 1stly they have an app for iOS (they are working on an Android app too) and 2ndly because their interface, both web and mobile and mobile app is just sleek and clean and they are a really helpful bunch too. And the best thing is that their service is free too! AND you can import the blogs you’re following on Google Reader / GFC to Bloglovin!

Get Bloglovin for your Blog

(1) Sign up to Bloglovin with your email and (2) find the ‘claim blog‘ button. (3) Then enter your blog address (eg and (4) click on the result. (5) Then copy & paste the code that Bloglovin provide you with into a widget in the sidebar (not like it says in a post!) and voila, you’re verified that the blog you’re trying to claim is indeed yours.

(6) Click on ‘follow buttons’ on the very bottom of the page, (7) pick the one you want to display on your blog, click on it, (8) copy & paste the code into wherever you want it to be displayed, and you’re done!

Import the blogs you follow to BlogLovin

You can import the blogs that you follow on GFC / Google Reader directly with BlogLovin now. (1) Go to this page, (2) click on ‘Google Reader’, then on (3) ‘Import from Google Reader’, (4) grant Authentication and off you go!

Why I think GFC will disappear

Here’s what happens when you click on ‘Join This Site’ on GFC. It automatically adds the blog’s address to Google Reader into a folder “Blogs I’m Following”. This is folder is then in turn synced to and from Blogger Dashboard to display these blogs. Of course this can also be done manually by added websites to your Google Reader or your Blogger Dashboard. It still syncs up to both.

This is what I think will happen: If Google Reader disappears, then there will be no blogs to be listed in the Blogger Dashboard as that is only set to sync the blogs from Google Reader and that can’t be changed to a different rss feed reader. This will make GFC void, useless, because while you could still click on ‘Join This Site’ you will not get anymore updates through Google Reader / Blogger Dashboard.

For sure I could be wrong about this, but the rumours of GFC being on its way out have been around a long time, way before the announcement of Feedburner being killed off and before Google Reader’s axe announcement.

Let me know if you need any help!!


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87 Comments on “Bloglovin as Google Friend Connect Replacement / Alternative

  1. makeupmonster1

    Hi Maria,

    I tried to export my files from Google but since I only added GFC last week using your sneaky tutorial it’s saying there’s no information to extract? Is this a no go for me?

  2. Amy Keeling

    Hi thank you for this :)

    I seem to be having trouble though, I’ve downloaded my reader data but when I try to extract it I get an error message, it says ‘application not found’, do you know what this would be?

    Thank you,


      1. Amy Keeling

        Sorry to be failing at this again, I got 7zip which appears to be now called jzip. I extracted my pictures from picasa no problem but for the stuff from ‘blogger’ section I just keep getting an ATOM file even when I click extract x

        1. Miss drifted Snow White

          im afraid youre downloading the wrong files. If you follow the instructions in this tutorial and follow the provided links it will take you to exporting your google reader files, not your blogger files, as this has nothing to do with blogger x

          1. Amy Keeling

            Oh my goodness, I can be so blind sometimes! Thank you :) for some reason my reader file has 0 on it which surely cannot be right as I follow loads of blogs via GFC. I’ll have to see if it somehow fixes itself later.

            Thank you for your help, it is much appreciated xx

  3. Claire Reynolds

    I can’t believe GFC is going! After all of that hard work building followers hehe. I love bloglovin though, great choice as an alteranative – and it’s what I actually use to read blogs anyway :) xxx

  4. Pyaribeauty

    I have tried doing it but I keep getting the message “file looks empty, please try again” when uploading the XLS file to Bloglovin’. Any ideas on what to do? Thanks x

          1. Robyn

            I had this issue, I used Feed Demon to gather my feeds instead and it worked :) (incase anyone has persistent issues like I did!)

          2. Pyaribeauty

            Yup I’m logged in. It seems to have transfered my feeds now even though it came up with the error message. :S Thanks :) x

  5. TSOH

    I follow most blogs through GFC connect so I should have some data to download. However, the Reader reads 0% with 0 files. If I select to configure Blogger, it asks if I want to download my blog(s) which I’m guessing is not what I want to do and that Reader is what I’m after. But because my Reader has no files, I cannot download anything.

        1. TSOH

          Google Reader is a feed reader/RSS by Google. RSS is standard for any platform, this reader is just Google branded.

          Google Friend Connect is a community platform/system only on Google.

!category-topic/blogger-nl/algemeen/wZcO7YycjX8 [Need to translate this!]

          There is a possibility GFC may disappear in the future seeing as though they’re still willing to close systems that so many people use (Google Reader and iGoogle which I used loads) but for now, it seems it’s safe.

          Still good to find out back-up plans for the future because you never know. iGoogle was the first thing I used when I’d begin using the internet but they got rid of it and I had to come up with something else so they may well do the same with GFC in the future.

          1. Miss drifted Snow White

            Here’s what happens when you click on ‘Join This Site’ on GFC, it automatically adds the blog’s address to Google Reader into a folder ‘blogs im following’. This is folder is read out by Blogger Dashboard to display these blogs.

            If Google Reader disappears, then there will be no blogs to be listed in the Blogger Dashboard as that is only set to import the blogs from Google Reader and that can’t be changed to a different rss feed reader.

            This will make GFC void, useless, because while you could still click on ‘Join This Site’ you will not get anymore updates through Google Reader / Blogger Dashboard.

  6. elle robson

    This wouldn’t work for me first of all for some odd reason, but ended up working in the end. But before it did end up working i decided to import them onto it was much quicker then having to use google takeout, but this blog helped so much thank you! x

  7. Helly

    Thank you for this Maria, it’s really helpful. I guess the thing I’m most annoyed at is losing the modest 400 or so GFC followers I’ve built up over the past few years :( Anyway, like TSOH above, Google Takeout is also saying I have 0 files to download, although most of the 300+ blogs I follow are via GFC – any ideas?x

      1. Helly

        Thanks, I managed to do it directly through Bloglovin’ – if you go to their homepage there’s now a link to import your feed in a message they’re put up. It didn’t look like it had worked at first, but all the blogs I follow are there now :)

  8. Eli Doinoff

    I found that GFC isn’t going anywhere – the Reading list on your blogger dashboard is a totally separate thing from Reader. It’s actually vice versa of what you’re saying – Reader syncs with the blogs you’re following through GFC, not GFC with Reader… And it seems legit to me…

    1. Miss drifted Snow White

      GFC is bound to go, it’s not bringing Google any money, neither are Google Reader or Feedburner, and even while these popular, much used products, Google don’t care about them if they don’t make money from it.

      GFC might not disappear right after Google Reader’s axe, but it is bound to.

      And ultimately even if GFC doesn’t disappear, you will HAVE to access the blogs you’re reading through Blogger Dashboard…

    2. Dawn

      It’s getting axed too. I made a new blog on blogger last week and gfc isn’t in the list of widgets anymore. I actually have to search for it on the “other gadgets” options.

      There is still a follower gadget/widget on blogger but it asks you to link to your google+ account, which I didn’t do. hehehe.

          1. Godfrina

            Err, yes. That is exactly what it says in my post as I updated it last week when someone asked me where to find the OPML file? I am not sure what you mean, but nice to see you got an inspiration for a post anyway.

  9. Sam Muses

    Such a useful post – my blogger dashboard hasn’t been working properly for the last few days and I would never have known how easy it was to import my reading list to Bloglovin’ – love your blog too, really glad I found it :)

  10. pkbmum

    Hi great post, I am stuck on (6) Click on ‘follow buttons’ on … onwards, I can’t find this. Please can you eloborate. Many thanks.

    1. Miss drifted Snow White

      hey hun. this sounds like your feed is just being displayed as summary/excerpt. if you’re on blogger, go to settings > other and there under ‘site feed’ make sure the allow blog feed is set to full. let me know xxx

    1. Miss drifted Snow White

      Unfortunately not. You can just ask all your readers to sign up to Bloglovin and then import all the blogs they follow from Google Reader/GFC to Bloglovin. That way they remain subscribed to you.


  11. Putri Soe

    Hmmm wait so i know about all these things (and i think this is a really helpful, not to mention ‘witty’, post), but you’re saying that if people click “follow this blog” in my blog, they automatically follow me via Bloglovin’…… or am i wrong?

    Thanks btw! Following you now.

    Cheers from Jakarta,

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  13. Barmy_Bex

    Thank you so much for this post. I would have been totally lost without it, but now I am all set up with Bloglovin and ready to go.
    Thanks again, you’re a star

  14. Ruthie Burkey

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I just followed your directions and imported all my Google Reader information and added a “follow” button to my blog!!!

  15. Luchessa

    Very important blog post these days, so i’M going to share it with my readers & twitter followers :)

    Following you now btw.
    xoxo, Luchessa.

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  17. ines

    I need help, i can’t find my blog on bloglovin, don’t appear, appears a blog with almost the same url as me “ and mine is “fashion–” and i can’t claim mine! don’t know what to do i already tryed changing my url but appears ” blogs not found” :/

  18. Poorva

    Hi! could you please help me out! im relatively new to bloglovin and i cant find the option where i can see who all is following my blog on bloglovin!

  19. Desi

    I’m trying to claim my blog but for some reason it shows 2 blogs, both mine but with really old headers and very few followers. I have like 400 now but both blog options to claim only say 30 something followers from GFC, plus like I said that isn’t my current header. Any ideas?

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  22. Misha

    You are the best! Seriously :) I was so frustrated about this issue, knowing that I don’t support/ like the fact that Google is making us to have Google +. Bloglovin’ it is! :)

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