A lifetime ago (2006-2008) I worked on an "Attention Management Platform" that would determine your interests and give you a Feed of news and notifications that looks almost exactly like how the Twitter desktop and mobile clients eventually came to look. We were called crazy because "no one would read news in a Feed".
Later, I also wrote a piece about what Google should do with Google+. I included pulling the "Feed" out of the social network and baking it into core Google products to drive maximum distribution. I also suggested seeding with "stories" from core Google products. I was told at the time that it was circulated widely within Google.
A surprising number or my suggestions have come partially true (see original post: http://chrissaad.com/…/my-suggestions-for-googles-social-pr…}.
And now this... Google's brave new friendless feed