Yesterday Google launched Google +1 which mirrors the Facebook like button. To turn +1 on just join the experiment at Google Labs Experimental Search. Then +1 acts as a public recommendation of the site or link that you have found through Google search.
You will find +1 integrated in Google’s search results and all your +1′s can be managed and or found on your Google profile page. Soon it will start appearing on websites just like all the other share buttons that exist across the social web from twitter to every social network under the sun. One important element that sets +1 apart is its integration with Google search and how it could it impact the results you get and the ads you see in the future.
One thing I wonder is if you are searching for something and click on the link how likely will it be that you go back to +1 it? Would you +1 it without knowing what it is first? I think I see a Chrome extension in +1′s future and additional Google toolbar functionality for Firefox and Internet Explorer users as well.
If you find a link through Google and have +1 enabled a +1 button will appear right beside the link, which reminds me of how Bing integrates Facebook like into their search results but the results are not influenced by the likes according to Marketing Mag’s article about +1. Having +1 as part of search combines Google’s strength with the ability to share what you think is interesting with your contacts.
One concern I see is that your contacts on Google don’t work the same way they do on Facebook because they are simply that, contacts whereas on Facebook the entire ecosystem is built around your network. The Google video that explains +1 says that it is for those things that you may not post an update about but if that is the case then how much weight does a +1 actually hold. I think that we will only know that with time and once it becomes more widely available.
So will +1 have the same impact as Facebook likes? That is the question because while what you +1 will show up in your Google profile how often do you really look at profiles on Google to start with. You may also see what your contacts +1 if it is relevant to your Google search but by that very same token that may limit how far it can spread and Google is playing a game of catch up since Facebook likes have been around for (what seems like) ages.
In a Mashable article on what ad agency execs thought about +1 Alisa Leonard, the director of strategy and planning at iCrossing said that she too wonders if your Google contacts could be as influential as your Facebook friends and that is a question that will only be answered with time. Overall the article says that reactions were mixed but the hope is that if +1 takes off that it will lead to more marketing transparency which is never a bad thing.
It is still too early to say how this will all shake out but it begs the question what took them so long? It seems that this is the second foray into the sharing space, with the first being Google Buzz which became famous not for what it did but the privacy issues it opened for Google.
With +1 the most interesting thing is what it will evolve into, oh well let the battle of the share, recommendations or whatever you want to call it begin.
Check out the video that explains +1 in a little over a minute (1:08 to be exact):
Random Note: +1 is in the article 23 times (including the title) or 24 times if you include the one at the start of this note.