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There are three new features in Google Reader: followers, friend groups, and likes. On the first feature, Google has the following to say:

“Instead of sharing your items with others and hoping they reciprocate, you can now find people with public shared items and subscribe to their shared items with one click. Use our new Reader search feature (powered by Google profiles) to look for people who have public shared items. You can browse by name, location, or topic, and start following new people all from inside Reader.”

greader new feature

In short, you can follow not only an RSS feed or a specific blog, but individuals as well. This isn’t personal updates like the ones you find on Twitter, but the sharing of specific articles (so more like a retweet).

The second feature is friend groups, which we compare to Facebook’s privacy settings. You can set which group sees what content. You can share those dating blog posts with just your closest friends and change it so that comments, a previously integrated feature, are only viewable by friends as well.

google reader like

Finally, likes is almost identical to the feature available on both FriendFeed and Facebook. You can pick any article and “like” it. The key to this, though, is that liking is public to everyone, thus we could see a lot of favoriting by a lot of people very quickly.

To "Like" / "Unlike" an item, all you have to do is click the new button next to the "Add star" under the items in Google Reader:

greader like