After ten days of hemming and hawing, Google is ready to address — but not apologize to — those users upset by the death of Reader's social features. "We understand that some may not like this change," a Google spokesperson told The Atlantic Wire. "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."
Undoubtedly, some people like Reader's facelift for the cleaner design, but those opposed are increasingly vocal. As we've reported last week, the group of Google Reader evangelists known as the Sharebros did not take Google's decision to redesign the social RSS-site lightly. About 10,000 disgruntled Sharebros have signed a petition, and some are even working on building their own replacement site, HiveMined, that resurrects the now missing following, sharing and commenting features as Google encourages people to use Google+ for these kinds of things. Francis Cleary, the developer that came up with and has been building the Reader replacement, told us on Monday, "Google+ is a cool idea, but it's not about content first. It's about page views — that's not what people want."