Thursday, March 31, 2011

Google encroaches on social, with its new +1 feature.

You click on stuff that your friends like. It's a simple enough fact, but it's tremendously important. It's the insight behind the Facebook "like" button, wherein you can share with your social network what links interest you. And it's the insight behind a new feature launched by Google today, something it's calling +1. In a blog post today, Google explained how it was building on its recent decision to include information in your searches about whether your friends liked a given link (shared it on Twitter, for example). With +1, which Google's Rob Spiro calls "the digital shorthand for 'this is pretty cool,'" anyone with a Google account can now opt in to publicly endorsing websites they like. Google introduced the new feature with a video. The web is a big place, it explains, and we could all use some friendly pointers to help us navigate it.

David Zax, the author of this post. Read More:

1 comment:

  1. Great follow-up article from David Zax -

    Yesterday, Google searches became more social with +1, which allows you to flag URLs you like for others in your social circle. It seems the next logical step in Google's gradual encroachment on the social space.

    But an SEO expert at the British search marketing firm Greenlight thinks Google's play is a little underwhelming. "Google can't afford to limp in with this +1 approach, given its track history with failing at social," said Greenlight's Adam Bunn. In Bunn's assessment, Google's +1 button will only be successful if Google can import data from Twitter and Facebook--something Facebook seems unlikely to allow.

    We're not sure whether we agree with Bunn's assessment that Google "is seen as functional rather than recreational... a bit too 'serious'." For a company that is, in many ways, functional, Google seems widely known for its levity. Still, the notion that an acquisition might be the only real way for Google to step up its social game is an intriguing one. "Google has little option other than to buy Twitter," says Greenlight, rather starkly.