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Google+ comments integrated into Blogger

Despite competition from Tumblr and WordPress, Google's Blogger platform is still kicking, and it just got a Plus-sized update.

Google+ comments can now be integrated into Blogger blogs, providing what Google called "a number of important benefits."

Users can enable the new feature through the Blogger Dashboard, and view their blog and Google+ comments in one place, as well as help readers comment and connect with their Google+ circles.

"Reading and responding to comments can be one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging," principal engineer Yonatan Zunger wrote in a blog post. "Not only do they help you connect with your readers, they can also inspire later blog entries. The challenge, oftentimes, is following all the conversations around your content."

Now, things are simpler for Blogger users who want to keep up with their fans and critics.

Comment threads on blog posts now incorporate activity from direct visitors as well as those chatting about users' content on Google's social network. If there is a public Google+ discussion about one of your blog posts, for example, those comments and replies will also appear on Blogger.

"This way you can engage with more of your readers, all in one place," Zunger said.

Additionally, blog readers now have the option to comment publicly or privately to the people among their circles on Google+. Also, while browsing blog comments, visitors can see all, just the top posts, or only those from people in their circles.

Blogger users can set up the new feature via the Google+ tab of the Blogger Dashboard; just check "Use Google+ Comments."

The Google-based blogging platform got its last makeover in the summer of 2011, when a massive redesign added a clean and spacious white and orange layout, with more essential Blogger tools built directly into the main interface.

Back in February, Google Takeout introduced more support for Blogger accounts and Google+ pages.