Over the last couple years, Google has pushed more and more social features in its apps. They’ve converted our contact lists into friend lists, they’ve added notes to shared items, they’ve even moved the conversation that normally takes place in the comments onto Google Reader itself. And now Google Reader is getting even more social with its latest additions: following your friends and “liking” stories.
Google Reader has long had a feature to subscribe to your friends’ shared stories. Now you can subscribe to just about anyone’s shared stories. Search for someone by name or enter their email address to follow their shared stories. Searching by name integrates the Google profile:
These stories are kept in a separate pane on the left-hand panel. This pane also tracks the people who are following your updates—whom you can block on an individual basis.
If you want to block everyone from seeing your shared stories, you can set access levels under your sharing settings:
And in a move that looks a heck of a lot like Facebook, Google Reader also add the “like” button to the bottom menu of its stories:
The Google Reader blog reminds us that all “likes” are public, as you see in the line below the attribution line.
So, what do you think of these new additions to Google Reader? Will you use these features?