At the end of September, Google Reader released their big update. It was a huge improvement, and in my opinion, much needed. It featured a new look, and a load of new features. Since then, there really hasn’t been a whole lot of excitement going on with new features, until yesterday. Google announced on the Google Reader blog that a new feature has been implemented called Reader Trends which can be found on your Google Reader homepage. If you like charts and tables to analyze data, you’ll love this new feature. Particularly, it will be most useful to those who subscribe to many feeds, or who use the Reader daily.

Now all of your reading trends are graphed out in easy to read graphs.  One option is to display a graph showing your reading trends day by day for the last 30 days, and it shows you how many items were read over the last month. Another display option is to show the time of day that items are read whether it’s morning noon or night. The last display option shows you when feeds are read by the day of the week. Between the three different options, you get a good idea of what time of day you read your feeds, and how often.

There is also helpful information next to each subscription.  It gives you the number of news items read for each feed, and then also provides what percent have been read out of all of them.  This gives you a good idea of the feeds you could probably unsubscribe from if you’re not reading them. You can also view two other tabs within this section to view your starred or shared items. Between the graphs, and the information given on the number of feeds you’ve read, you should get a picture of how much time you spend scouring the Internet for news.

The final new feature is the subscription trends diagram which shows you all of your subscriptions, and how many items are posted per day.  From that, you’re given the percentage of items you’ve read out of the items posted for each subscription. Within the subscription trends is a tab for all of your inactive feeds, the ones that haven’t updated recently.

All of these graphs are more for fun than anything else.  It might be interesting to see just how many subscriptions you read, and when, and out of those subscriptions, how many are left unread. So while it’s a fun new feature for users, think about all of the useful information Google has always had, but that’s now organized into graphs for them. They’ve got a good picture of what people subscribe to most, and what time of  day they get read! This is great information for Google, who’s already in the advertising business.

News Source & Images: Google Reader Blog