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Reuters picks up Web syndication technology

The RSS format lets Web sites and bloggers receive free feeds of Reuters.com headlines and republish one-line descriptions of stories.

Reuters.com has adopted RSS technology to syndicate its headline news to publishers across the Web, in a boon for the format.

Last Thursday, the provider of news and financial information began using RSS (Really Simple Syndication), a format for syndicating and aggregating Web content, based on the Extensible Markup Language. The technology allows Web sites and Web loggers, or bloggers, to receive free feeds of Reuters.com news headlines and republish a one-line description of stories. Topics include politics, international news, entertainment and sports.

Also, in one of the first such instances, Reuters is syndicating news videos via RSS.

"As blogging continues to grow, there's a changing of the landscape of how people want to consume content," said Steven Schwartz, vice president of global business operations for Reuters.com. "We want to adapt and allow users to access news the way they want."

The move comes as Reuters is scaling back licensing of its online financial news to third parties, including Yahoo. Beginning June 1, Reuters will limit financial news stories appearing in full on partner Web sites, in a move to preserve sales of its financial data services for corporate customers.

Meanwhile, Reuters has been more aggressive about promoting general news and video for consumption on its own Web site. In the last year, it has pushed to highlight consumer-focused news online and sell more advertising on its Web site and Reuters Television. The RSS feeds may serve to drive traffic to Reuters.com.

Reuters joins a growing list of publishers that have embraced RSS. Financial publication Smartmoney.com and Hollywood site Variety.com recently began offering RSS feeds to third parties. The Web publishers must provide attribution for the news and are not allowed to republish the full text of articles.

In recent months, Yahoo also has begun to allow visitors to create personalized pages with aggregated RSS news.

On Monday, Google revamped its own Web publishing tool, Blogger, with simple features to appeal to a wider audience. Google supports a rival syndication technology called Atom. Backers of RSS include Apple Computer and News.com publisher CNET Networks.