I've always been a fan of Reader. It's help change how I consume content on the Internet and is one of the foundations of a lot of the social interactions I have on the Web.
So I understand the motivation behind this new feature and in a vacuum this is a reasonable, solid feature.
- I get the difference in semantics between "like" and "share" (a feature already available) and actually think this feedback to the author isn't a bad idea, but c'mon! It is a trifle confusing; especially since clicking on the name of someone who liked an article leads to her shared feed (instead of a feed of things he liked)
For me in the short-run there are just two problems with using the product as is.
- I have (almost)no friends on my Google social graph (i.e. Gmail contacts) so none of my friends are seeing this stuff I'm liking.
- I've already invested in pulling stuff I share into Facebook and FriendFeed and that where I "like" stuff. In fact, the duplication on Facebook and Friendfeed is already annoying me (Facebook added the FriendFeed-ish functionality to its Wall, and despite my best efforts to resist it and keep all my activity on FriendFeed, it won.)
I can think of a couple of technical solutions to that problem:
- one requiring a lot of co-operation and standards-like activity
- the other is a product, that would need to fight for adoption