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Preview: Official Google Reader Blog

Official Google Reader Blog

News, tips and tricks from the Google reader team.

Updated: 2018-03-06T04:48:24.339-08:00


A final farewell


Thank you for stopping by. Today, we powered down Google Reader. We understand you may not agree with this decision, but we hope you'll come to love these alternatives as much as you loved Reader. Sincerely, The Google Reader Team Frequently-asked questions: 1. What will happen to my Google Reader data? All Google Reader subscription data (eg. lists of people that you follow, items you have starred, notes you have created, etc.) will be systematically deleted from Google servers. 2. Will there be any way to retrieve my subscription data from Google in the future? Note -- all subscription data will be permanently, and irrevocably deleted. Google will not be able to recover any Google Reader subscription data for any user after July 15, 2013. 3. Why was Google Reader discontinued? Please refer to our blog post for more information. [...]

Powering Down Google Reader


Posted by Alan Green, Software Engineer

We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

To ensure a smooth transition, we’re providing a three-month sunset period so you have sufficient time to find an alternative feed-reading solution. If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout.

Thank you again for using Reader as your RSS platform.

New in Reader: a fresh design, and Google+ sharing


Posted by Alan Green, Software Engineer

Today we're rolling out the new Reader design, and the Google+ features that we mentioned just over a week ago. Before the day's over, all Reader users will be able to enjoy the following improvements:
  • A new look and feel that's cleaner, faster, and nicer to look at.
  • The ability to +1 a feed item (replacing "Like"), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (replacing "Share" and "Share with Note").

Integrating with Google+ also helps us streamline Reader overall. So starting today we'll be turning off friending, following, shared items and comments in favor of similar Google+ functionality.

We hope you'll like the new Reader (and Google+) as much as we do, but we understand that some of you may not. Retiring Reader's sharing features wasn't a decision that we made lightly, but in the end, it helps us focus on fewer areas, and build an even better experience across all of Google.

If you decide to stay, then please do send us your feedback on today's set of improvements. Google+ is still in its early days, after all, and we're constantly working on improvements. If, however, you decide that the product is no longer for you, then please do take advantage of Reader's subscription export feature. Regardless where you go, we want to make sure you can take your data with you.

Updates to Google Reader on the web are rolling out gradually and should reach all users by end of day. A new Android application will follow soon. If you have questions about today’s announcements, please check out our Help Center.

Upcoming changes to Reader: a new look, new Google+ features, and some clean-up


Posted by Alan Green, Software Engineer

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. We recognize, however, that some of you may feel like the product is no longer for you. That's why we will also be extending Reader's subscription export feature to include the following items. Your data belongs to you, after all, and we want to make sure you can take it with you.
  • Your subscriptions
  • Your shared items
  • Your friends
  • Your likes
  • Your starred items
Like always, the new Google Reader will be a great place to read and share your feeds. And in addition to Google+, you'll still be able to share to almost any service using Send To. We're looking forward to launching the new features very soon.(image)

Updates to the Google Reader app for Android


Posted by Brian Shih, Product Manager

Today we’re excited to announce some updates to the official Google Reader app for Android. Over the last couple of months, we’ve added some of your most-requested features:

  • Unread count widget - choose any feed, label, person, or “all items” and get the unread count on your home screen. Clicking on the widget takes you to straight to that stream.
  • News ticker widget - if you prefer a bit more information, you can add a larger size widget that cycles through items on any stream you want in Reader. Clicking any headline will take you to the article, while clicking the folder will take you to that stream.
  • (image)
  • Mark previous as read - if you’ve used the mobile version of Reader before and missed this feature, it’s now back! As you scroll down your reading list, hit “Mark previous as read” at any time to only mark things above the screen as read.
  • (image)

In addition to these new features, thanks to 20%-ers Alexey Retunski and Anton Vayvod’s support, we now have an official Russian translation as well.

We hope you enjoy the updates - give it a try! You can download the app in all countries from the Android Market. The Google Reader app is available for devices running Android 1.6 or higher, with widget functionality available for devices on Android 2.2+.


More control over comments on shared items


Posted by Arif Siddiquee, Software Engineer

(image) As some of you have noticed, we've recently enhanced Reader's commenting abilities, via an "Options" menu that is present for all conversations about shared items. You can now get a link to the equivalent conversation in Google Buzz, which is handy for passing around a funny thread. If it's your shared item, you can disable comments entirely, if for example the conversation was about a topic whose time has passed.

Additionally, you can now moderate comments within Reader. If the conversation is on an item that you shared, you have the option to remove comments directly. For all conversations, you can report comments as spam.


We hope these changes will help you keep an elevated level of discourse about shared items. As always, if you have any questions or comments about these new features, please head over to our help forums, or send us a message on Twitter.


The Android Google Reader app is here!


Posted by Peter Baldwin, Software Engineer

It’s been a long time coming, but the official Google Reader app for Android is finally here. Let’s jump into the features, shall we?

The app supports all the basics you’d expect like unread counts, friends, sharing, liking, and starring, but it also has a whole lot more, including:

  • Multiple accounts
  • Synced preferences
  • Full subscription features (subscribe and search from your phone)
  • Search


A couple harder to discover features we’d like to highlight:

  • Volume-key navigation: if you enable this in the settings, you can navigate by using your phone’s volume keys for next and previous
  • Long-press on a folder or subscription to bring up a contextual menu that lets you rename, unsubscribe or change folders
  • If you hit the menu key on an individual item, you can use the “send” feature which integrates with other apps on your phone to send the item using any 3rd party app


We’re really excited to make the first version of the app available today, and we hope you’ll try it out and let us know what you think on Twitter or our help forums.

Update: Here's a link to the app on Android Market. It should run on Donut and higher.



Welcome, Google Apps users!


Posted by Brian Shih, Product Manager

Google Apps recently launched an improvement that made dozens of exciting Google services available to Google Apps users for the first time. As part of this launch, Google Reader is now available to our Google Apps users for free with their Apps accounts.

Google Apps is Google’s suite of cloud-based messaging and collaboration apps used by over 30 million users in small businesses, large enterprises, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world. If your organization hasn’t gone Google yet you can learn more about how to lower IT costs and improve productivity and collaboration at

For those Reader users who have a Google Apps account, if your administrator has already transitioned your organization to the new infrastructure, you can now use Google Reader by signing into Reader as normal with your existing Apps account.

For more details, read the complete post on the Google Enterprise blog and follow all the updates on other newly available services for Google Apps users.


Turning off the track changes feature


Posted by Brian Shih, Product Manager

As of September 30th, we’ll be turning off track changes in Reader. While this isn’t a widely used feature, we wanted to let you know in advance so you can set up a suitable alternative (such as Your previous updates will not go away, but you will stop receiving new updates from any custom feeds you have set up.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes -- and as always, please feel free to visit our help forum if you have any questions.

Update: You can use the Page2RSS transition tool to convert your feeds here:


A welcome and a look back


Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

The Reader team was saddened to hear that Bloglines will be shutting its doors on October 1. Bloglines was a pioneer in the feed reading space, and for Web 2.0 in general.

We know that nothing will be quite like Bloglines in the hearts of its users, but if you're looking for another online feed reader, we encourage you to give Reader a shot. All you need is a Google account (you already have one if you use Gmail) -- and here's a video to help you get started. It's also very easy to bring your Bloglines subscriptions over, you just have to export them from Bloglines and import them into Reader.

Since Reader's fifth anniversary is also approaching (though it feels like yesterday, Reader was launched on October 7, 2005), we thought it might be a good time to reflect on how Reader has grown over the past few years. While we were busy redesigning (twice!), making friends with Buzz and iGoogle, translating, breaking up, gossiping and playing, more and more people picked up the Reader habit. Here's a graph of Reader users over time (where "user" is defined as someone who has used Reader at least once a week):


And as we found out this past April, Reader users sure do like to read lots of items. Here's another graph, this time of the number of items read per day.


To all our users, new and old, thanks for making a great 5 years!


Fullscreen and more!


Posted by Arif Siddiquee, Software Engineer

As Google Reader is all about reading, we thought we should give our users a chance to maximize their screen space whenever possible... thus fullscreen mode was born. You can toggle the fullscreen mode through the 'f' key. Additionally, you can use 'shift + u' to show and hide the navigation panel so you can easily change what you're reading without leaving fullscreen mode.


Eagle-eyed viewers might have also noticed we've added a new category to the trends page: clicked trends - now you can see which sources you click on the most.
And finally, something many of you have asked for before...we now show you your lifetime read item count. That's right. Every. Single.* Item.**


*Only things you've scrolled by, or clicked on - doesn't count mark all as read.
**Okay, that's not quite accurate - once you hit around 300K (which we know some of you are already over) we stop counting for performance reasons. Consider that "beating the game".


Folder and tag renaming


Posted by Wiktor Gworek, 20% task force (Krakow, Poland)

Last year we announced that we wanted to hear your wish list for features in Google Reader, and one of most highly requested features was the ability to rename folders and tags. Today we are rolling out this feature with a little bit of Polish help from Krakow.

You can rename folders and tags on the settings page:


And you can also edit these names right from the contextual menu in your subscription list.


Also, as we announced last week, today we’ve disabled offline access through Gears, and phased out support for older browsers.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please head over to our help forums, or send us a message on Twitter.


Spring Cleaning: Comments, offline, and older browser support


Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer Springtime is a great opportunity to clean up, take care of loose ends, and generally spruce things up. Since we still have a few weeks of spring left, the Reader team is taking this opportunity to clean things up a bit. Simplifying comments Ever since we launched support for comments on shared items, one of the most frequent points of confusion has been "who can comment on my shared items?" (or rather, "why can't I comment on my friends' shared items?"). Up until now, someone had to be in a designated sharing group to be able to comment on a post, even if you were sharing publicly. To make things a lot simpler, we've made it so that if you can see a shared item, you can comment on it. For those of you who are sharing publicly, the next time you log in to Reader you'll get a choice between continuing to share publicly and allowing anyone to comment on your shared items, or switching to protected sharing: Nothing will change for users who already had their shared items protected, since visibility and commenting for their shared items was already consistent. Keep in mind that you can always update who can view and comment on your shared items on the sharing settings page. Phasing out support for older browsers Reader is joining Docs (and many other sites) in removing support for older browsers, notably Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 1.0 and 2.0, Safari 2.0 and 3.0, and Chrome 1.0, 2.0. and 3.0. Reader is a cutting edge web application, and this will allow us to spend our time improving Reader instead of fixing issues with antiquated browsers. Starting on June 1, users of older browsers will begin to see a notification encouraging them to upgrade to any of Reader’s supported browsers. Discontinuing offline access via Gears We launched offline support three years ago, but only a minority of Reader users actively use it today. Because supporting offline access requires a large ongoing engineering effort, and because Gears itself is being surpassed by HTML5, we've decided to remove offline support in Reader starting on June 1. Of course, we know that offline access is important to some of you, and with the wide range of third party clients that sync with Google Reader, you don’t need to give it up. Depending on your operating system, we recommend taking a look at: NetNewsWire (Mac OS X) FeedDemon (Windows) Liferea (Linux) Each of these alternatives will sync your subscriptions and read state with Reader, and continue to provide offline access to your feeds. For more information, please see our help center. We realize that removing features and support is not easy, but with this spring cleaning done, we've laid the groundwork for more Reader improvements down the line. We apologize for any inconvenience, and if you have any questions please head over to our forum, or message us on Twitter. [...]

A little bit of polish


Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer Jak wielokrotnie robiliśmy w przeszłości, ekipa Google Reader poświęciła czas pomiędzy wypuszczaniem wiekszych projektów na pracę nad małymi usprawnieniami i naprawę istniejących błędów. Oh wait, not that kind of Polish, this kind of polish. As we've often done in the past, the Reader team has taken the time between major releases to work on small features and bug fixes. Here's a round-up of the changes we've made over the past month: We've added support for the HTML5

A veritable boatload of read items


Posted by Brian Shih, Product Manager

Wow. Who knew your hunger for points and badges was so insatiable? While ReaderAdvantage™ was a joke, we actually ordered and are distributing Reader badges as part of the joke. Unfortunately, so many people ordered them that we ran through our stockpile a mere 27 minutes after we announced the program. Which got us to thinking... just how much do our users read?

A few stats about the badge submissions:

  • 13% of people who requested a badge ended up way over our “Totally Sweet” threshold of 314,159 items read...
  • 25% of you were Platinum (133,700 read items or more).
  • Even more amazing, four people had read over one million lifetime items.
  • One person had read more than two million items. (Holy cow.)


For comparison, the average Reader user reads about 105 items a day, which isn’t bad unless you want to get to the Totally Sweet level of over 314,159 lifetime read items - at that rate it’s going to take you over 8 years to get there. And if you’re aiming to join the (recently founded) One Million Club, we’re talking over 26 years. So, uh, time to start reading?

While we were at it, we took a look at what users are starring, sharing, and liking the most. While many of the most-starred items are reference posts, collections of tips, or tutorials from our friends over at Lifehacker, the most starred item lately is actually this hilarious video. That same video also shows up near the top of the latest and most liked or shared items, along with a collection of interesting images, designs, and bizarrely useless machines. It’s clear that the crowd is onto something here, so if you’re not getting these items in your current feeds, maybe it’s time to check out Reader Play or the Recommended items section in Reader.

P.S. We’re shipping the badges soon. Really.


Google Reader gives back


Posted by Zach Yeskel, Product Marketing Manager

At the recent SXSW conference, we handed out free Google Reader T-shirts to people based on how many Reader items they'd ever read... in their whole life. We knew that free shirts would be a hit, but we learned something much more important: a lot of people have read a lot of items. (At an average of thirty seconds per item, the most prolific readers had spent more than 180 full days of their lives perusing stuff on Reader — what Blogger gives, Reader takes away)

After the conference, several of us felt like shirts didn't seem like enough of a reward for all the valuable hours people have spent trolling through so many feeds. One thing led to another, we did a few calculations, drank a few too many cups of coffee, and today we're happy to announce Google Reader's first rewards program: ReaderAdvantage™.

The ReaderAdvantage™ program is simple. You get one point for each item you read. The more you read, the more you get. Then you can trade in your points for cool stuff. And because we believe in a little friendly competition, there are four levels of ReaderAdvantage™ status:

  • Novice: 999 points
  • Gold: 25,000 points
  • Platinum: 133,700 points
  • Totally Sweet: 314,159 points

We considered inventing a secret ReaderAdvantage™ handshake, but instead we created embroidered badges to ensure that members can easily identify their compatriots.


If you use Google Reader, there's no reason not to join. Visit the ReaderAdvantage™ site to read all the details and enroll today. As always, please send us your thoughts and feedback in our forum or on Twitter.


More Reader features in your pocket


Posted by Arif Siddiquee, Software Engineer
(image) (image)

The more eagle-eyed Reader users have noticed a few tweaks being made to Reader's mobile interface over the past few days:

  • We've brought over a few more features from the desktop version of Reader: magic ranking and search. Both can be found in the option drop-down menu.
  • For better consistency with the desktop version, we've made the titles of items be links to the original page
  • The top of each item now has "collapse" and "next item" links. This way there's always a consistent space for your thumb to hit so you can advance to the next item.

Since we know the best mobile content is short and sweet, we're going to leave you with that. Feel free to get in touch with us on Twitter or on our help group with feedback on these changes.


​And now for something completely different


Posted by Garrett Wu, Software Engineer Since I've been working on Google Reader, I've told a lot of my friends about how great it is. And while some of them try Reader and find it really useful, many of them aren’t interested in taking the time to get Reader set up. That’s why today, I’m happy to announce an experimental product from the Google Reader team that makes the best stuff in Reader more accessible for everyone, while giving Reader users a new way to view their feeds. It’s called Google Reader Play, and it’s a new way to browse interesting stuff on the web that’s easy to use and personalized to the things you like. Best of all, there’s no set-up required: visit to give it a try. In Google Reader Play, items are presented one at a time, and each item is big and full-screen. After you've read an item, just click the next arrow to move to the next one, or click any item on the filmstrip below to fast-forward. Of course, you can click the title or image of any item to go to the original version. And since so much of the good stuff online is visual, we automatically enlarge images and auto-play videos full-screen. Reader Play adapts to your tastes -- as you browse, you can let us know which stuff you enjoy by clicking the "like" button, and we'll use that info to show you more items we think you'll like. If you want, you can also choose categories, and we'll personalize your stream to only show you stuff from those categories. And you don't even need a Google account to use Reader Play. Of course, if you want to star, like, or share items, we'll ask you to sign in to your Google account. Since Reader and Reader Play share the same infrastructure, any actions you take in one will be reflected in the other. You might be wondering where we find all the awesome stuff in Reader Play. It uses the same technology as the Recommended Items feed in Reader to identify and aggregate the most interesting items on the web. If you sign in, Reader Play will also be personalized with items that people you’re following have shared in Google Reader, and items similar to ones you’ve previously liked, starred, or shared. Since Reader Play is an experiment, it’s launching in Google Labs for now. To be clear, Reader Play isn't intended to replace Google Reader: both Google Reader and Reader Play are about finding and reading interesting stuff online. In essense, Reader Play is a different view of Reader. It's designed to be a fun and easy way to browse interesting items, while Reader is a highly customizable way to organize your feeds, keep track of what you've read, and much more. In Reader, you can switch to this view by clicking "View in Reader Play" from the feed settings menu. Try Reader Play today and let us know what you think. Send us feedback in our forum or on Twitter, and check out our help article for more info. [...]

May we recommend...


Posted by Laurence Gonsalves, Software Engineer ​

Long time readers of our blog will note that we occasionally throw in links to crazy, interesting, and fun items in our posts. You may be wondering, “How can I find such interesting content to share?” Today we’re launching two new features that are designed to help you do just that:

  • Recommended items get personal - When we launched Popular items many of you wanted to see even more personalized recommendations. With the latest round of improvements, we’ve started inserting items selected just for you inside the Recommended items section. This is great if you’ve got interests that are less mainstream. If you love Lego robots, for example, then you should start to notice more of them in your Recommended items.


  • Even more related feeds - If you’ve ever discovered a cool blog on, say, underwater basket-weaving and wanted to find more on the same topic, we’ve added a few easy ways to find related feeds. Hover over any of your subscriptions, click the menu and check out “More like this...” to see related feeds.


    We’ll also show you related feeds when looking at the preview of any feed.


We hope these new features will help you find more content that interests you, whether that’s LOLcats or cooking.

As always, feel free to come visit our help forums or Twitter to leave us some feedback.


Readers: Get your Buzz on


Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer We know that many people like Reader because it makes it so easy to share interesting stuff with a wide group of friends. That's why, over the past year, we've added a number of features to help you share the content you find most interesting: comments, following, people search, liking, and "send to." However, even with all these great features, sharing has been mostly limited to the subset of your friends who use Google Reader. While many people use Reader, we know that even more use Gmail. That's why today, we're thrilled to announce that with the launch of Google Buzz, the awesome items you share in Reader can also be shared with all your friends who use Gmail with Google Buzz. A shared item in Reader (background) and Buzz (foreground) Getting started with Google Buzz is easy. Just head over to Gmail and you'll be able to link up your Google Reader account with just a few clicks. Then, anything you share in Reader will automatically be posted to Buzz. Comments are even shared between both products, so you can view and participate in the conversation wherever you'd prefer. And don't worry, you don't have another list of friends or followers to manage. The people you follow in Reader are the same people you follow in Buzz – those you've already chosen to follow in Reader, plus the people you email and chat with the most in Gmail. Check out the video below, explaining everything you can do with Google Buzz! Head to our help center for more details about the Buzz integration in Reader, or leave us feedback in our forum, on Twitter or even using Buzz itself. P.S. Keep in mind that Google Buzz is rolling out gradually, it might be a few days before you get it for your account. [...]

Follow changes to any website


At Google we're always looking for ways to take advantage of work being done in other parts of the organization. So when a team approached us with a way to follow changes from websites without feeds, we jumped at the opportunity. Post by Liza Ma, Product Manager.

Feeds make it easy to follow updates to all kinds of webpages, from blogs to news sites to Craigslist queries, but unfortunately not all pages on the web have feeds. Today we're rolling out a change in Google Reader that lets you create a custom feed to track changes on pages that don't have their own feed.

These custom feeds are most useful if you want to be alerted whenever a specific page has been updated. For example, if you wanted to follow's latest products, just type "" into Reader's "Add a subscription" field. Click "create a feed", and Reader will periodically visit the page and publish any significant changes it finds as items in a custom feed created just for that page.


Here are some more example feeds for sites without feeds that you could follow:

We provide short snippets of page changes to help you quickly decide if the page is worth revisiting and we're working on improving the quality of these snippets. If you don't want Google to crawl or create feeds for a specific site, site owners can opt-out.

If you have a feed-less page you've been dying to follow, sign in to Google Reader and try it out for yourself. As always, if you have any feedback, please visit our official help forums or our Twitter account.


​A new year, new mobile features, and more!


Posted by Arif Siddiquee, Software Engineer ​We know that many of you like to take Reader with you wherever you go, so today we are updating our mobile interface by adding a few new features along with a new streamlined look. New mobile features include support for "liking", tagging, and sorting feeds by oldest/newest. These are all features that were previously only available on the web interface, and we’ve worked to get them into the mobile version as quickly as possible. As far as streamlining goes, we’ve made a few improvements to give you more features with less clutter. First, we redesigned the bottom action bar to include a “More” link, revealing additional options (with the most common actions selected by default). We’ve also updated the main header to be consistent with other Google mobile applications, specifically Gmail, Calendar, and Latitude. And we’ve added an option drop-down in place of the old secondary tool bar, to give you a little more space for your feed items. We hope this also reduces those accidental “mark as read” accidents that happen on occasion. On Reader's web interface, we've made it easier to find people who are sharing stuff similar to you. Take a peek at the new people recommendations (in the “Recomended sources” section on the web interface) to find folks with shared items we think you’ll enjoy. It's a nifty way to discover new feeds and people that you might not have discovered otherwise. As always, we listen to your feedback and use it to improve Reader. If there are specific features you miss on the mobile version of Google Reader, head over to our Product Ideas page and leave us a note. We love all kinds of feedback through our official help forums and our Twitter account. [...]

Take your Reader wherever Google Chrome goes


Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

(image) The Google Chrome team is launching beta support for extensions today, and we thought we'd take a shot at writing a Reader extension. The Google Reader Notifier displays the number of unread items in your Reader account in Google Chrome's toolbar. When clicked, the toolbar icon displays a popup preview of the latest items in your account. This way, you can keep an eye on your Reader account wherever on the web you are.

Let us know how you like the extension (and what other features you'd like to see in it) by adding a review on its page in the extension gallery.

Note that extensions are currently available only for the beta channel of Google Chrome for Windows and Linux, so you'll want to make sure you're running one of those browsers before you install the extension.

(image) Reader users may want to try the RSS subscription extension too. It adds previewing and one-click subscribe support for any RSS or Atom feed that you happen to come across. And feel free to browse or search for other handy extensions.

And if you're a developer itching to write your own extension, you'll want to check out the extensive documentation and code samples.


Let your subscriptions' personality come through


Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

(image) We recently asked you for your ideas (and votes) on how to make Reader better. One of the more popular suggestions was adding favicon support for subscriptions, so today we're introducing just that (thanks to 20%-er Shreyas Desai).

We realize that not everyone wants their subscription list to turn into a multi-colored extravaganza, so we've made it into a setting that you can access from your subscriptions menu.

Be on the lookout for more ideas being implemented, and feel free to let us know how you like this feature on Twitter or in our help forum.


Reading gets personal with Popular items and Personalized ranking


Posted by Beverly Yang, Software Engineer (Cross-posted with the Official Google Blog) Today, we're launching two changes to Google Reader to help you discover more interesting content faster. Just as the launch of Personalized Search improved search results based on your search history, these changes use your Reader Trends to improve your reading experience. Explore section - We're always trying to help you discover new stuff in Reader, and today we're introducing "Popular items" and "Recommended sources", two ways to find interesting content from all over the Internet. We use algorithms to find top-rising images, videos and pages from anywhere (not just your subscriptions), collect them in the new Popular items section and order them by what we think you'll like best. Now you don't have to be embarrassed about missing that hilarious video everyone is talking about — it should show up in your "Popular items" feed automatically. And to make it easier to find interesting feeds, we're moving recommendations into the new Explore section and giving it a new name — "Recommended sources." Like always, it uses your Reader Trends and Web History (if you're opted into Web History) to generate a list of feeds we think you might like. Personalized ranking - Only have a 10 minute coffee break and want to see the best items first? All feeds now have a new sort option called "magic" that re-orders items in the feed based on your personal usage, and overall activity in Reader, instead of default chronological order. Click "Sort by magic" under the "Feed settings" menu of your feed (or folder) to switch to personalized ranking. Unlike the old "auto" ranking, this new ranking is personalized for you, and gets better with time as we learn what you like best — the more you "like" and "share" stuff, the better your magic sort will be. Give it a try on a high-volume feed folder or All items and see for yourself! The goal of personalization at Google remains the same as ever: to help you find the best content on the web. We hope these new features help you do just that — go Explore for yourself. Finally, we'd love to hear your feedback — share your thoughts on our help group, Twitter or the Reader section of Get Satisfaction, a third party support community. [...]