Google Reader attempts to stay relevant with Google+ help

Google Reader attempts to stay relevant with Google+ help

Summary: Google Reader is getting a much needed refresh along with some new social features.

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Of all the apps and services in Google's catalog, Google Reader must be one of the most ignored. The interface hasn't gotten a major upgrade in years, and the product itself feels stale without many changes or additions to speak of since it was launched.

To put it simply, Google Reader is a mess.

There are just links, text, and widgets everywhere formatted into random frames that resemble leftovers from the Internet five to six years ago. Considering that most of the rest of the Google Apps suite (i.e. Calendar, Docs, and soon Gmail, etc.) have all gotten new designs in the last few months, Google Reader must be asking where has its facelift been for years.

The time has finally come...or at least in the next week. Google has announced that Reader will be introducing a brand new design following some "some highly requested changes." (Sheesh, thank you. It's about time!)

But what probably brought the change about even more was Google's interest in integrating Google+ throughout its products to unify the platform.

So say goodbye to friending, following and shared link blogs inside of Google Reader. Instead, Reader will be receiving social features courtesy of Google+. However, Google will allow users to export old data, consisting of subscriptions, shared items, friends, likes, and starred items.

Google also promises that the "end result is better than what's available today," which can't be that hard to achieve.

If all goes well, Google Reader might become relevant again. Otherwise, it could likely end up on the chopping block like Google Buzz and Labs did recently.

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Google

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5 comments
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  • RE: Google Reader attempts to stay relevant with Google+ help

    Awesome... I don't really care about the Google+ integration part, but I am glad that it is getting an update.

    I don't use many Google products, but I am constantly using Google Reader.
    ian.aldrighetti
  • RE: Google Reader attempts to stay relevant with Google+ help

    http://80.tc/y3mn
    eytery
  • RE: Google Reader attempts to stay relevant with Google+ help

    I'm am one of the many who use Google Reader for years... and for professionnal purpose (800 feeds). One of the most valuable feature for me is (was ?) tag/folder public sharing. I use the so generated blogs to produce Atom feeds devoted to thematic watches served to clients (and client of clients) through Atom to HTML widgets. A very very powerfull feature. This announce is just unrespectfull to many of us and certainly not a good decision for their own business, because they'll lose a bunch of professionnal users who don't want to log in Google+) ! And yet, any click on a link served via Google Reader is a valuable information for Google !
    And saying "We recognize, however, that some of you may feel like the product is no longer for you." Is just arrogant ! It's not just about playing with friend here. It's about working, guys ! So we'll work outside !
    secou
  • RE: Google Reader attempts to stay relevant with Google+ help

    Re: "Instead, Reader will be receiving social features courtesy of Google+."

    According to the developers working on Google Reader, social features are being _removed_ from Reader, and feed subscriptions are being added to Google+.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/113760695441101959932/posts/Yxj9MquTddH

    The only "integration" with Plus that's coming to Reader is the ability to post items from Reader to Plus. It's one-way -- none of the social functions of Plus are going to Reader. Their equivalents in Reader are being removed.

    The reason the data export is being made available is _because_ Reader is losing features.
    gguillotte
  • Why bother

    Google will probably just scrap this project just like almost everything they've been doing within a year.
    Gisabun