Today Google followed up their recent updates with Google+ with the much talked about Google Reader revamp. It’s not been as smooth as they had hoped. There’s already a petition launched and a protest demanding the previous sharing features be brought back.
My initial thought was that people have far too much time on their hands to complain about ‘sharing features’ on the seldom heard Reader platform. Isn’t Google Reader just an RSS reader? A way to quickly scan story titles and read more efficiently?
I have been using Google Reader for years and absolutely love it! In fact I find it much more organized than Twitter and it’s easier to follow articles without all the chatter on Twitter. Not that it’s a bad thing to ‘talk’ to people out there. haha.
But I have never really used the social sharing features inside Google Reader. If I found an article interesting and wanted to share it, I would email the person I thought might like to read it, or I would add it to my Twitter feed, and lastly Reader gave me many of the topics I’ve written about on my blog. However, there are tons of people throughout the world that have been using it to circumvent censorship, communicate with the outside world and share stories from within totalitarian regimes.
With the removal of the current sharing features within Google Reader, and the only way to share this information being through Google+, Google has effectively silenced much of the free speech and sharing coming out of such countries as Iran.
Here is a bit about the backlash, and why it may be in Google’s interest to think twice before killing the social aspects of Google Reader…
Now that Google has officially switched to its new version of Google Reader, complete with Google+ integration, the company is facing the righteous fury of a social network it barely seemed to recognize: the Sharebros.
This small but maniacally dedicated community of Google Reader users was able to share stories and comments with each other until Monday, when the new version of Reader forced them to start using Google+. But the Sharebros are not taking the snub lying down.
- And Here It Is: The New Google Reader Revealed (techcrunch.com)
- Google Reader gets a new look, Google+ now the de facto sharing option (thenextweb.com)
- Google Reader Backlash: 10,000 Users Sign Petition to Save Old Version (mashable.com)
- Google Reader Gets The Google Plus Treatment (readwriteweb.com)