On August 23, 1999, Blogger was launched by Pyra Labs. As one of the earliest dedicated blog-publishing tools, it is credited for helping popularize the format. In February 2003, Pyra Labs was acquired by Google under undisclosed terms. The acquisition allowed premium features (for which Pyra had charged) to become free. About a year later, Pyra Labs' co-founder, Evan Williams, left Google. In 2004, Google purchased Picasa; it integrated Picasa and its photo sharing utility Hello into Blogger, allowing users to post photos to their blogs.
On May 9, 2004, Blogger introduced a major redesign, adding features such as web standards-compliant templates, individual archive pages for posts, comments, and posting by email. On August 14, 2006, Blogger launched its latest version in beta, codenamed "Invader", alongside the gold release. This migrated users to Google servers and included some new features. In December 2006, this new version of Blogger was taken out of beta. By May 2007, Blogger had completely moved over to Google operated servers. Blogger was ranked 16 on the list of top 50 domains in terms of number of unique visitors in 2007.
As part of the Blogger redesign in 2006, all blogs associated with a user's Google Account were migrated to Google servers. Blogger claims that the service is now more reliable because of the quality of the servers.
Along with the migration to Google servers, several new features were introduced, including label organization, a drag-and-drop template editing interface, reading permissions (to create private blogs) and new Web feed options. Furthermore, blogs are updated dynamically, as opposed to rewriting HTML files.
In a version of the service called Blogger in Draft, new features are tested before being released to all users. New features are discussed in the service's official blog.
In September 2009, Google introduced new features into Blogger as part of its tenth anniversary celebration. The features included a new interface for post editing, improved image handling, Raw HTML Conversion, and other Google Docs-based implementations, including:
- Adding location to posts via geotagging.
- Post time-stamping at publication, not at original creation.
- Vertical re-sizing of the post editor. The size is saved in a per-user, per-blog preference.
- Link editing in Compose mode.
- Full Safari 3 support and fidelity on both Windows and Mac OS.
- New Preview dialog that shows posts in a width and font size approximating what is seen in the published view.
- Placeholder image for tags so that embeds are movable in Compose mode.
- New toolbar with Google aesthetics, faster loading time, and "undo" and "redo" buttons. Also added was the full justification button, a strike-through button, and an expanded color palette.
- The Google Toolbar has a feature called "BlogThis!" which allows toolbar users with Blogger accounts to post links directly to their blogs.
- "Blogger for Word" is an add-in for Microsoft Word which allows users to save a Microsoft Word Document directly to a Blogger blog, as well as edit their posts both on- and offline. As of January 2007, Google says "Blogger for Word is not currently compatible with the new version of Blogger", and they state no decision has been made about supporting it with the new Blogger. However, Microsoft Office 2007 adds native support for a variety of blogging systems, including Blogger.
- Blogger supports Google's AdSense service as a way of generating revenue from running a blog.
- Blogger offers multiple author support, making it possible to establish group blogs.
- Blogger offers a template editing feature, which allows users to customize the Blogger template.
- Google Docs has direct publishing integration to Blogger.
- Windows Live Writer, a standalone app of the Windows Live suite, publishes directly to Blogger.
Blogger has imposed the following limitations on content storage and bandwidth, per user account:
- Number of blogs = Unlimited
- Size of pages = Individual pages (the main page of a blog or archive pages) are limited to 1 MB
- Number of labels = 5,000 unique labels per blog, 20 unique labels per post
- Number of pictures (hyperlinked from user's Picasa Web Album) = Up to 1 GB of total storage
- Size of pictures = If posted via Blogger Mobile, limited 250 KB per picture; posted pictures are scaled to 800px
- Team members (those that can write to a blog) = 100