Google announced today on its Official Google Reader Blog the launch of a new experimental Labs service called Google Reader Play, which basically allows users to view their RSS feeds in a somewhat similar way to Google Fast Flip. Items on Google Reader Play are presented one at a time as large photos, videos, or even text excerpts that you can either Star, Like, or Share with friends and followers when signed-in. Videos are auto-played, and images are automatically enlarged to make the visual experience much better.
You can view the previous or next items by flipping through with the arrows on either side of the screen or by clicking on the items on the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen. Additionally, if users choose to go to the original source of the item, they can either click on the title or the image/video to be redirected. People don’t need to sign-in to use Google Reader Play. However, the experience gets better when you’re signed-in, as that is the only way you can Star, Like, and Share items.
One of the best parts about Google Reader Play is that when you’re signed-in, the items presented to you are based accordingly on items you have previously ‘Liked.’ In other words, it learns what you like. Users can also choose different categories, and Google Reader Play will specifically display items from the selected categories. Also, actions taken between the original Google Reader and Reader Play will automatically be synced between the two services.
All the items presented in Google Reader Play are found and added using the same technology as the Recommended Items on the original Reader, which manages to discover the most remarkable and fascinating items on the Internet. Google makes it very clear that Reader Play will not replace Google Reader. Both services are expected to co-exist with each other.