All social features will be removed though, replaced with Google+ functionality
Fans of Google Reader will be very happy to hear that the service they rely on will finally be getting some love from Google after being ignored for a long time. Google Reader will be upgraded to the brand new Google look and some of the most requested features and changes will also be implemented.That said, it seems that Google believes the most requested features are the redesign and Google+ integration.
Anything having to do with social will be removed, though, the sharing features, followers and so on. Instead, Google Reader will be integrated with Google+, the social layer will be provided by Google's existing social network.
"In the next week, we’ll be making some highly requested changes to Google Reader. First, we’re going to introduce a brand new design (like many of Google’s other products) that we hope you love," Alan Green, software engineer at Google, wrote.
"Second, we’re going to bring Reader and Google+ closer together, so you can share the best of your feeds with just the right circles," he said.
Google Reader will be losing all of its social features, which had been bolted on over the years.
While the idea was probably a good one, a social layer does drive up engagement and usefulness of a product, at times, the social features in Reader didn't really feel built-in.
Doubtless, some people used them, but most people probably didn't maintain a list of friends for Google Reader alone.
"Many of Reader's social features will soon be available via Google+, so in a week's time we'll be retiring things like friending, following and shared link blogs inside of Reader," Green explained.
Now, Google will provide all of the social features, thanks to a few updates to Google+ as well, which can only be a good thing. This will allow those that want social features to have a much better platform, Google+, and those that don't need them to get a more focused product.
That said, for the ones that have created a list of friends and constantly shared things with them, Google will allow users to export all of this social data before it's gone.