Google Reader Adds Friends List

August 14th, 2008 at 12:00 am

google reader logo

Google Reader is becoming some sort of social space by allowing its users to share feeds with their contacts.  Initially, the Google Reader team tried out an "experimental" version of feed sharing by simply making all a user’s contacts in Google Talk his instant friends.  Of course that was based on the assumption that all your contacts are your friends.  Well, there’s a certain degree of craziness in that and many were upset.

So to address that concern, Google Reader now releases an improvement on the "Friends’ Shared Items" tab.  Now users can actually control which friends they can share to. 

For starters, Google Reader is now offering users to hand select the contacts they wan to share their feeds with.  "People that you add to the Friends list will be able to automatically see your shared items in Reader."

Furthermore, to avoid getting a lot of junk from those friends who simply share everything they have for the heck of it, Google Reader also gives the user control over who they want to receive shared feeds from.  "We’ve also made it easy to manage who shares with you. When someone decides to share with you, you will get a notification and the ability to preview and subscribe to their shared items. At that time, you can also choose to share your items with them (or not)." [Google Reader Blog

This opens up a new option for many users.  I, for example, never shared any of my items simply because I  only wanted to share it with just a few people and I’ve been getting a lot of shared feeds from my contacts that are usually junk to me since we work in different industries.