Google announced some upcoming upgrades to its Google Reader product today on its blog, here are some details:

In the next week, we’ll be making some highly requested changes to Google Reader. First, we’re going to introduce a brand new design (like many of Google’s other products) that we hope you love. Second, we’re going to bring Reader and Google+ closer together, so you can share the best of your feeds with just the right circles.

As a result of these changes, we also think it’s important to clean things up a bit. Many of Reader’s social features will soon be available via Google+, so in a week’s time we’ll be retiring things like friending, following and shared link blogs inside of Reader.

Using Reader for your RSS feeds has been simple enough, but since Google+ was introduced, there has been a major disconnect between the two products. Luckily, Google hasn’t forgotten about Reader, and is making sweeping changes.

If you prefer to take your feeds elsewhere and aren’t interested in its new upgrade, Google says you can take your feeds with you and points out that “your data belongs to you, after all”.

We think the end result is better than what’s available today, and you can sign up for Google+ right now to start prepping Reader-specific circles. We recognize, however, that some of you may feel like the product is no longer for you. That’s why we will also be extending Reader’s subscription export feature to include the following items. Your data belongs to you, after all, and we want to make sure you can take it with you.

  • Your subscriptions
  • Your shared items
  • Your friends
  • Your likes
  • Your starred items

Sharing news easily with your circles is what Google+ has been missing, and should be a welcomed with open arms by publishers everywhere. Copying and pasting links into Google+ or even using the +1 button on individual stories has most definitely slowed down the flow of news in streams. This will kick things up quite a bit.