The Stoop Inbox app is an inbox for newsletters. Think of it as a podcast app or an RSS reader for newsletters designed to browse, susbcribe to, and read newsletters with a clean and unified interface.
It's an interesting tool for readers. But, as a publisher, I'm concerned.
The problem is Stoop Inbox subscribes to newsletters on behalf of readers with email addresses in the
stoopinbox.com domain. So Stoop Inbox assumes control of the relationship between newsletters and their readers in a way similar to what Facebook and other social platforms do. Publishers can no longer email susbcribers directly, the
stoopinbox.com addresses have limited uses, and publishers don't own the full subscriber list.
One day Stoop Inbox might decide to charge publishers for delivering mails to readers. Or algorithmically filter the newsletters the readers receive in their inboxes and, again, charge publishers for reach the same way Facebook does. And maybe inject into newsletters ads the publishers aren't comfortable with.
Stoop Inbox has some paid plans but it's not clear what features they provide. Perhaps it's something related to bundles, as they hint on the OpenBundle website promoting their bundling protocol for paid newsletters, assuming I understand correctly. The OpenBundle website says:
Furthermore, the relationship between reader and publisher must be a direct one, or else we're not fixing much -- just replacing one set of distribution controlling aggregators with another.
But the way Stoop Inbox works adds yet another gatekeeper. What am I missing?
My newsletter received the first susbcription from Stoop Inbox. I was torn on what to do but ultimately decided to unsubscribe that address. I emailed Stoop Inbox asking to opt my newsletter out of their catalog but they didn't reply, which isn't encouraging.
What do you think? Are you okay with your newsletter being in Stoop Inbox? Is the additional exposure worth the loss of control?
In September 2020 the RSS newsreader Feedly released support for newsletters. Like Stoop Inbox, Feedly subscribes readers through a Feedly email address.
I sent a support request to Feedly asking how publishers can opt out. Currently the only way is to block