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Google+ slips into bed with Reader

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Google is overhauling its neglected web and news aggregating tool Reader, unsurprisingly to bring it more into line with the company's newfound love for all things social.

This also means that Reader will soon be wrapped in Google+, er, goo.

It's getting a new design, noted Google software engineer Alan Green in a blog post yesterday.

More importantly, Reader will undergo the same makeover treatment that much of the Chocolate Factory's online estate has already been subjected to since the arrival of Google+ in late June.

"As a result of these changes, we also think it's important to clean things up a bit," said Green. "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."

He added that anyone interested in "prepping Reader-specific circles" would need to sign up to Google+ first.

The idea is to allow users of the service to share news feeds with relevant individuals.

He acknowledged that not everyone would be happy with the new interface and said Google would be extending its Reader export feature to include subscriptions, shared items, "friends", likes and starred items.

"Your data belongs to you, after all, and we want to make sure you can take it with you," he said.

It's unclear if this means anyone wanting to continue using Reader will need to sign up to Google+ first, however. The Register has asked Google for clarification, but it hadn't immediately responded at time of writing. ®

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