The web world has a serious case of trying to keep up with the Jones’, or rather the Zuckerberg. This week both Twitter and Google have launched features that mimic Facebook. The other day I mentioned Twitter’s new “Follow” button and since then Google have also launched their “Plus 1” button.
Google wants you to use the +1 in order to give your public vote of approval for a website, in a similar way that you may click the “Like” button for Facebook. Of course, while everyone and their Grandma’s Chihuahua has a Facebook account, not everyone is so used to using their Google account as a social tool. But for this to work, people will have to be logged in to their Google account so that when you click the +1 (see the button at the end of this post), Google can see who you are and keep track of your preferences. Google currently tries to show you who from your social circle has shared the websites on their search results pages, but you need to have connected your Google account to others like Twitter for that to work properly (and let’s face it, how many people know that you can even do that?!) so “+1” is probably a more direct way for them to actually own some social data about you. Web publishers will see the benefit, or actually the need, to adding the button in order to keep up in Google’s rankings. But will regular users understand how or why they should use or click this button? That remains to be seen.