By September 21, 2011

Posterous’ last hurrah?

`Posterous-logo Simple (cough) blogging service Posterous has relaunched itself for what may well be the last time. Now called Posterous Spaces the the revamped offering has been given a complete redesign.

The old adage "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" clearly holds no truck at Posterous as the UI on the web and both iPhone and Android apps has been completely redesigned to the point of self-destruction.

Far from making the service easier to use for newbie bloggers they have managed to complicate the UI so much even I can’t figure it out, and I’m an experienced user. By comparison Tumblr goes from strength to strength precisely because they keep it simple. Features are removed rather than added. The new Posterous Spaces seems to have been designed by a committee of Word engineers. Ironic since the founders launched the product with the aim of making blogging simple for ordinary folks who only knew how to use email.

Originally Posterous enabled you to blog anything from anywhere by email and automatically auto-post your content to a myriad other services on the web. A terrifically clever service which, alas, never really took off.

About a year ago they undertook a huge ‘switch’ campaign enabling bloggers to transfer their existing sites to Posterous at little more than a few mouse clicks. Again, no significant uptake. All the while competitors Worpress and Tumblr were not so quietly building huge user numbers.

More recently they launched ‘Groups’, yet another attempt to lure the lay blogger to the service. I can only conclude this didn’t yield many more users as, according to Quantcast, Posterous has not broken the 500,000 user mark for six months (apart from a brief and atypical spike up to 2 million users in August). Perhaps a second round of funding of $725,000 from XG ventures will help.

A venture-backed blogging service with no growth and no discernible revenue model can’t go on forever even with half a million users and an extra three quarters of a mill. It’s hard to see how the latest, unusable interface will help its cause. A great shame as there was so much potential.

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