Online marketplace eBay has learnt a costly lesson over the past few years: stick to what you're good at. Having failed to make its acquisition of Skype work, it also sold recommendation engine Stumbleupon back to its creators last year, just two years after buying it.
It was reported at the time of the StumbleUpon acquisition that Google was also interested and, having missed out, it looks like Google has spent the intervening time coming up with its own alternative.
Google Reader Play is produced by the Google Reader team, but it seems to be as much a way of discovering stuff you wouldn't normally look for as anything else. In beta for now, it's a simple homepage that offers a stream of stuff Google has calculated you may find interesting.
Just like StumbleUpon, by indicating whether you like an item or not, Reader Play adapts what it chucks at you. The big difference is that Reader play focuses on single, mainly visual, items rather than entire websites.
The third thing we saw when we tried it ourselves was this amusing parody of the kind of schmaltzy, superficial, supposed dramas that Hollywood routinely churns out.
As is so often the case these days, it's been a busy day for Google. Also announced are biking directions for Google maps and the news that it's now serving ads on the mobile version of YouTube.