Despite widespread opposition, Google announces that changes to its beloved Reader are going into effect by the end of the day
Bad news, Google Reader fans: A new post is up at the Reader blog assuring users that the changes announced over a week ago will reach all users "by end of day." The post details what you'll see soon: a cleaner design (one that matches Gmail's latest look), the replacement of "Like" with "+1" and the replacement of Google Reader in-house sharing functions with Google+-based circle-sharing.
This is surely unwelcome news for the more than 9,000 people who had signed a petition opposing the redesign.
For everyone who hates it, Google's message is clear: That's not our problem. As the post's author puts it:
We hope you'll like the new Reader (and Google+) as much as we do, but we understand that some of you may not. Retiring Reader's sharing features wasn't a decision that we made lightly, but in the end, it helps us focus on fewer areas, and build an even better experience across all of Google.
If you decide to stay, then please do send us your feedback on today's set of improvements. Google+ is still in its early days, after all, and we're constantly working on improvements. If, however, you decide that the product is no longer for you, then please do take advantage of Reader's subscription export feature.
And many probably will take them up on the offer. As Adam Clark Estes reported this morning, one Google Reader fan has taken matters into his own hands, building HiveMined, a new and improved RSS aggregator that will mimic the old Google Reader's beloved sharing features.