FT.com’s Move To B2B Publishing Continues With Personalised RSS Feeds

FT.com is reaffirming its commitment to the B2B side of its business model by allowing corporate subscribers to create their own search-based RSS feeds of FT content. So if you or your staff are desperate for news on a specific regions, sectors or companies, like “Asian shipping” for example, you can now get one or more feed on just that. The feeds are designed to be used on company intranets, where links will take staff to the relevant story on FT.com.

A system of corporate licenses for FT.com content was rolled out last April and this is the latest project to get more FT fans to part with their cash as part of the site’s much discussed part-paid model. Corporate subscriptions get cheaper the bigger the group you are buying for, so the incentive is there to buy in bulk. You can of course can set up your own RSS feeds of FT.com’s content using Google (NSDQ: GOOG) News and an array of other tools, but most of that feed will be stuck behind FT.com’s part-pay wall – the site recent lowered the number of stories readers can browse before paying anything from 30 to 20. More after the jump…

FT.com publisher Rob Grimshaw told the Global Information Industry Summit in London last year the FT was moving away from being a traditional B2C once-a-day print publisher to a genuine 24-7 online publisher with a strong B2B element and, though it’s questionable what impact RSS feeds will have on the business, this is evidence that he means what he says. Many novel schemes from online news organisations have a gimmicky feel about them (social networking sites, Second Life avatars, content “channels”) and it remains to be seen whether developments from the FT such as its pink redesign or launching a chat room as part of its Alphaville thread will pay off. But given the continued success of tailor-made financial news services like Dow Jones’s Factiva, re-positioning FT.com as a B2B news provider through things like personalised RSS in a time of falling ad revenue and promiscuous news consumers seems like a simple enough addition.