Google announces +1 Button in a challenge to Facebook's Like Button
Google is taking on Facebook's Like Button with a button of its own, the +1 Button.
"Our goal at Google is to get you the most relevant results as quickly as possible," Rob Spiro, a Google product manager, wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "But relevance is about relationships as well as words on webpages. That's why we recently started to include more information from people you know -- stuff they've shared on Twitter, Flickr and other sites -- in Google search results.
"Today we're taking that a step further, enabling you to share recommendations with the world right in Google's search results."
When a user looks at Google.com search results (and is signed into his Google Account), a +1 Button will show up right next to a link, beside the current magnifying glass icon used for Google's Instant Previews feature.
If a user likes the website they've visited, they can click the +1 Button to publicly share that with those Google has identified as friends or contacts. Below links on Google.com's search results, a list of any friends who have clicked the +1 Button for that link will show up too.
Google is currently rolling the +1 Button out to a small number of "select" users, but soon users will be able to opt in, through Google's experimental search site. Google also said adding the button to websites will be easy, giving Google fans the option of giving a +1 to participating pages outside of Google.com as well.
The whole system is similar to that of Facebook's Like Button, which has quickly spread to many popular websites across the internet -- including news agencies looking to increase online readership.
And like Facebook, the idea revolves around using a digital button to share a user's action, sending that information back to the main site -- either Facebook.com or Google.com.
"It's called +1 -- the digital shorthand for 'this is pretty cool,' " Spiro said. "The beauty of +1's is their relevance -- you get the right recommendations (because they come from people who matter to you), at the right time (when you are actually looking for information about that topic) and in the right format (your search results)."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles