Google+/Google Reader integration

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. 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.

As a result of these changes, we also think it’s important to clean things up a bit. 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.

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.

(Official Google Reader Blog)

I read this twice and still couldn’t understand what Google was actually trying to convey, so I opened up my Google+ profile to see if I could get a clue about what was going on.

And sure enough, Google Buzz was still displayed as a tab, with all my Twitter and Google Reader shared items, with the following caveat:

Google Buzz is going away, but your posts are yours to keep In a few weeks we’ll be retiring Google Buzz. At that time you won’t be able to create any new posts, but your existing content will remain accessible in two important ways: 1. You can view it on your Google profile 2. You can download it using Google Takeout

And when I looked at my +1 tab (I never +1 anything, because I just haven’t seen any point in starting to use Google+), none of the most recent stories I had ‘shared’ on Google Reader were yet listed as +1ed. I sort of hope that that’s what’s going to happen when ‘sharing’ is terminated in Reader—and that Google Reader clients like Reeder will manage to build the switch into their own software, somehow…

This actually makes sense: it was absurd to expect sharing on Google Reader, Buzz and +1 to continue in parallel, when they all basically were about sharing stories with followers. But it’s revealing that Google is suddenty realising this months after the Google+ launch—suggesting they simply hadn’t thought out the implications for Google+ and specifically how it would integrate with their other products.