This week Google is keeping its social momentum going by setting free onto the web its new Google News badges. It’s definitely a social feature for those who like to share, and let’s just say it out right, brag a little about all the stuff they read. Yes, for these folks, badges that track reading and prominently display to others their “badge level” are just the thing. The badges are sharable among Google contacts.
The reader-rank system uses badges that cover many topics. According to Natasha Mohanty, the author of the Google Blog post that revealed the news, there’s more than 500 types of badges for competitive readers to collect. Among those categories, readers can aspire to reach, in descending order, Ultimate, Platinum, Gold, and Silver levels on any given subject.
Google dishes out the badges to users who do their politics, sports, and other daily fare reading through Google News and have their web browser history enabled; it’s also necessary for readers to be logged into their Google accounts while they tire their eyes out a bit.
Google, once again stressing its hard-earned user-privacy sensitivity, is letting people know that the badges are “private by default,” which is another way of saying that they’re going about the introduction of their new features in way that’s very unlike Facebook. Even once users opt to share their badges, the specific articles they’ve read to achieve their status will remain private.