Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple News Warns Publishers About Channel Removal if They Are Inactive for Three Months

Daniel Jalkut:

Apple did, in fact, accept my news sources, and for the past several years these articles have been available through the service.

I guess I’ve dropped the ball a bit as a blogger, though, because this week I received a terse email from Apple:

Dear Daniel Jalkut,

We noticed that you have not published to your Bitsplitting channel in three months or more. Your channel will be removed in one week.

Regards,

The Apple News Team

Regards, indeed. Apple will drop me in one week if I don’t publish something, or maybe even if I do; the wording is ambiguous. I’m a little annoyed at this, but I’m also a little annoyed at myself for not blogging more frequently, so I guess I’ll just say: “thanks, Apple News!”

Via Manton Reece, who writes in response:

If you hadn’t heard, Apple News dropped RSS support for new blogs, and it sounds like they rarely approve personal blogs anymore. Weeding out inactive blogs could be the first step to removing them altogether.

I haven’t found another public copy of this email posted by anyone else, and I wonder if this is something new that Apple is doing. I also couldn’t find a requirement to publish at least every three months within Apple’s News Publisher support section; I’m not saying it’s not there, just that I could not see where it might be.

Nevertheless, it seems like it’s still possible — according to that News Publisher site — to create a new channel based on RSS. Existing RSS-based channels also appear to be functional still; this one is, at least. However, it is no longer possible to subscribe to an RSS feed as a user with Apple News. iOS still declares that News is the handler for feed:// URLs, but it no longer supports them. A month ago, I asked a couple of people at Apple for clarity on this and neither has gotten back to me. I assumed it could be a bug at the time, but if it’s a policy change, it’s sloppy and poor.

Update: Reece confirms that it’s still possible to create a Apple News channel based on an RSS feed, but that it is discouraged during setup.