Some people might be surprised to hear that Google+ was not Google’s first attempt at social. There was also Google Buzz and Google Wave. But Google’s *successful* social product?
Definitey Google Reader.
Case in point: The Atlantic discovered that someone met their spouse via Google Reader, plus, it was basically the only social network to not get banned in Iran during the 2009 protests. Goodbye, free speech.
Besides serious topics like love and war, many people prefer to get news via their friends — and gReader (as the cool kids call it) enabled that.
Courtney, a video game PM, posted about her Reader network: “But who is seeing this stuff, right? For me, it’s a small group (I think the largest it’s been is around 40 people) who can view all of my shared items, can view my comments, and can comment on my shared items.”
Even Google’s own forum host people are caught saying “It’s lovely to have my friends pick and choose what I read, but not have it lumped in with all the Facebook/Google+ style crapola.”
We, at Flud, think news should be in it’s own network, much like Spotify is for music and Instagram is for photos. You connect with different friends over different types of media.
Meanwhile, Google claims removing social functions in Reader is an improvement.
Luckily, the post-social Google Reader is not void of an alternative! Flud is mobile-first (that’s where you’re reading most news now, anyway) and offer the same basic social functions that Google Reader took away. And, Flud lets you import your sources from Reader — so easy!
You can follow your circle of friends who read news you actually like (yeah, we don’t get that guy’s deal on Facebook, either) and you can find people you’ve never met who are looking at interesting news, videos, etc.
But, you say, what about commenting? Google Reader had that, too. Well, we’re thinking about it. I mean we might be building it. Actually, you should just subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter in case we announce something like that.
Image via Daniel Berger / Wikipedia