Google is making a small tweak to Google Reader that increases its “stickiness” even more and competes directly with popular applications such as the FeedHead app within Facebook:
So, we’ve linked up Reader with Google Talk (also known as chat in Gmail) to make your shared items visible to your friends from Google Talk. Once you’ve logged into Reader and been notified of the change, these friends will be able to see your shared items in the Reader left-hand navigation area under “Friends’ shared items”. We’ve provided an option to clear your shared items in case you don’t want your friends to see what you’ve shared in the past. We’ve also added a Settings page so you can choose which friends you see and invite friends who aren’t yet sharing to try it out.
Google Reader is the most popular web-based feed reader on the market and this sort of viral saring will only increase its foothold as RSS, and feed reading in general, continues to climb the mountain to mainstream acceptance.
This also gives a glimpse of the eventual social features that Google will surely build into GMail, GCal, Google Docs and Reader as they continue to move further into the social web.
Marketers would be wise to mind the meme (or at least The Social).
Here’s a screen shot of the profile creating option within Google Reader:
BTW, you can grab the feed or see my shared items from Google Reader here. Feel free to share yours in the comments here as well!
And here’s more on Google’s social profile options for inviting friends: