Google’s ‘+1’ Button Sets Stage For Facebook Showdown

New feature integrates web browsing with the social network experience.

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud


Google has announced the expanded reach of its new sharing button, the “+1″ option, introducing a version that websites can put on their site, alongside Facebook and Twitter’s dominating “Like” and “Tweet This” buttons.


Google’s long-rumored social networking competitor to Facebook allows signed-in Google users to recommend the page to their friends and contacts. The contact can then see the vote and a thumbnail photo of the voter if the page shows up in search. Recommendations posted by you or friends are added to Google search results, too, allowing some pages in the flood of results to stand out from the others. 


From Google’s blog post:


+1 is as simple on the rest of the web as it is on Google search. With a single click you can recommend that raincoat, news article or favorite sci-fi movie to friends, contacts and the rest of the world. The next time your connections search, they could see your +1’s directly in their search results, helping them find your recommendations when they’re most useful.


Google introduced the “+1″ button in March, but glitches and a vague intention for the option left consumer testers bewildered. But the company has sharpened the focus, setting the “+1″ button as a way to add social recommendation features to a search. If you click the button on a news story or website, Google will apply the recommendation and, possibly, reorder search results according to reader reaction within your contacts.


Early partners include media outlets such as Bloomberg, Reuters, the Washington Post and Mashable. The button will also be on YouTube videos, next to apps in the Android Market and more.


Once Google gets in the ring with Facebook directly and announces its social network, user "likes" from the "+1" option will already be there, giving users a head start in the networking game.