Google Reader Gets More Social With Commenting
Google has added a lot of sharing-based features to Google Reader in recent memory, but it has now launched the ability to have conversations among those who are sharing items. Google acknowledges that this is a key element of sharing that the service has been lacking. I would have to agree.
The feature allows you to have private discussions with friends on shared items. "Now, instead of obsessively asking everyone in your office if they have seen that awesome lego cake article you shared last night, they can tell you how awesome you are, right within Google Reader!" says Jenna Bilotta at the Google Reader Blog. Users can comment on any item that they shared or that is shared with them.
There is also a new comment view, which is optimized for tracking conversations and commenting. This mode sorts your list of items by most recent comment. Comment View appears in bold text when there are new comments. When you click on "Expand this item" you can read the entire text.
Comment icons appear on top of friends’ profile pictures in list view or expanded view in Google Reader. Obviously that means there are new comments.
In cases in which more than one person shares the same item with you, they will appear as separarate entities with separate conversations.
The release is only in the English language at this point. Comments can only be seen by those who shared the items. Comments aren’t available in the "All Items" view, but Google has a lot more planned for the comments feature, the company says. Google notes that users can read and add comments from their iPhones.
Now Google Reader is part of the "the conversation." And Google continues to get more social. If only RSS would catch on the mainstream, this could be more relevant in the social media space.