Google Reader, the company’s RSS reader, will get a new look and integration with Google+ next week that will let you create reader-specific Circles.
The changes, which are “highly requested,” according to Google software engineer Alan Green, include a new design and the retiring of features like friending, following and shared link blogs inside of Reader, which will be supplanted by Google+.
You may “feel like the product is no longer for you,” Green writes, in which case you can export your subscriptions, friends, likes and shared items to another RSS reader. Google gave Reader a social makeover with follows and friending in 2009, when Digg, among other social news services, was much more influential.
Like Google Buzz, which was retired last week, those social features are being excised as the company focuses on growing Google+.