Google's quest to tie every one of its various web services to Google+ will shortly see the merging of Reader's social elements with the network.
On Thursday, Google software engineer Alan Green posted a blog announcing the changes, which will coincide with a substantial redesign of Google's web content aggregator. Due to the integration, the company will be "retiring" Reader features such as friending, following and sharing.
In his post, Green said Google+'s 'circles' functionality would let Reader users refine the groups of people with whom they share their RSS and Atom feeds.
"We think the end result is better than what's available today, and you can sign up for Google+ right now to start prepping Reader-specific circles," Green wrote.
Green went on to say that Google recognised "that some of you may feel like the product is no longer for you", and was therefore extending Reader's subscription export feature to include subscriptions, shared items, friends, likes and starred items.
"Like always, the new Google Reader will be a great place to read and share your feeds. And in addition to Google+, you'll still be able to share to almost any service using Send To. We're looking forward to launching the new features very soon," Green added.
Google co-founder and chief executive Larry Page said last week that his company would be tying every one of Google's products to the nascent social network, so Google would know exactly what search results and advertisements people wanted to see.
"This means baking identity and sharing into all of our products, so that we build a real relationship with our users," he said.