Official Google Reader Blog - News, Tips and Tricks from the Reader team

Google Reader is your new watercooler

3/11/2009 03:21:00 PM
Posted by Jenna Bilotta, User Experience Designer

One of the things that we love best about Reader is the ability to easily share interesting items with your friends. In fact, we like it so much that we've been adding bunches of new sharing features over the last year including choosing friends to share with, sharing with note and the sharing bookmarklet. But we quickly realized that one of the most important pieces of the sharing cycle was missing: the ability to have conversations with friends about all those shared items.

With our new conversation feature, you can have private discussions on shared items with your friends. 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!

What's new with this feature:

  • You can comment on any items that you share or that have been shared by your friends.
  • In order to keep track of conversations, you can check out the new "Comment view" which is optimized for tracking conversations and commenting. Comment view is a little different from your normal reading mode because it sorts the list of items by most recent comment. When there are new comments, the "Comment view" link will appear as bold. You can even read the full text of the items in this view by clicking the "Expand this item" (which will mark it as read).
    Comment view link
  • If you see a comment icon on top of a friend's profile picture in list or expanded view, it means there are comments on that item (this helps you decide what to read first.) Comments indicators in list view
  • When more than one of your friends share the same item, you'll see a separate conversation under each person who shared it, together in the same view. Multi-share
  • And don't forget, you can always read and add comments on your iPhone.

Comments on the iPhone

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Comments can only be seen by friends of the person who originally shared the item.
  • Comments are not yet available in the "All items" view.
  • We have much more planned for this feature, but we would love to hear what you think, too.
  • Currently, you cannot comment on items in a shared items subscription or on a shared tag; comments can only be made on items shared by friends.
  • This release is English-only for now.

We are super excited to bring you this feature, and have plans to keep improving it in the near future. So, find some friends that use Reader, find some cool stuff to share, and join the conversation. Happy commenting!