Google is removing social features of Reader as the company preps for the RSS feed reader's integration with the Google+ social network.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) is removing social features of its Google Reader
application in preparation of the RSS feed reader's imminent integration with
the Google+ social network, the company said Oct. 20.
Reader lets users subscribe to receive links to content from some of their
favorite news sources, including blogs and traditional publications. One the
darlings of Internet geeks, RSS readers have been cast aside by more
forward-looking digerati for Twitter and other real-time services, including
Facebook and Google+.
that end, Google will retire friending, following and shared links to blogs in
Reader, which like Google Search, Gmail and Maps before it, is also getting a
brand-new design. That redesign will include tight integration with Google+,
which the search engine provider is making the focal point of its social
going to bring Reader and Google+ closer together, so you can share the best of
your feeds with just the right circles," wrote Google
software engineer Alan Green
in a blog post, adding that Reader users can
start creating Reader-centric Circles on Google+.
recognizes that there is an inherent risk in angering some users by quashing
Reader's social features, so the company is letting users export their
subscriptions, shared items, friends, likes and starred items.
users already follow and share links on Google+ through the Circles sharing
construct, so enabling users to easily share Reader blog posts and news stories
in Google+ should be a natural activity for most users. Indeed, Reader's
integration with Google+ merely continues the pattern Google has created in
integrating the social network with the company's search, YouTube, Gmail and
other existing tools.
is getting traction, having accrued over 40 million users since launching in
late June. Users have also shared more than 3.4 billion photos in the last 100
Google+, the search provider is engaging rival Facebook in the war for users'
attention. Incumbent network Facebook has more than 800 million users, some of
whom use the service an average of eight hours per month. That's a lot of
eyeballs, time and ad clicks that Google is not getting.
is getting several enhancements over the coming weeks, said Vic
Gundotra, the Google senior vice president tasked with running the Google+
example, Google+ will eventually enable users to publish content under
pseudonyms, allow businesses to build brand pages and integrate with Google
Apps. Perhaps most importantly, Google will release APIs to allow developers to
build applications that work with Google+. Ultimately, Google+ will be
woven across all of Google's Web services.
Christmas, you'll start to see it all come together," Gundotra promised at
the Web 2.0 Summit.