Google Adds Functionality to +1 Button

Google added two new features to its +1 button, further integrating it with its Google+ social network and turning it into a counterpart to Facebook’s Like and Send buttons.

Google added two new features to its +1 button, further integrating it with its Google+ social network and turning it into a counterpart to Facebook’s Like and Send buttons.

The search-engine giant added a “Share on Google+” option to the +1 button, allowing users to share content with their circles on the social network with one mouse click.

And Google now automatically adds images, links, and descriptions to shared content, which it calls +Snippets. Content publishers can customize how their +Snippets appear with a few code changes to their sites.

Another plus from the additional +1 button, as pointed out by Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch: “Over the past several months, you’ve probably come across Google’s +1 quite a few times. You may have even clicked it, only to wonder what exactly you’d just accomplished. Because, at least from the user’s perspective, there hasn’t been any reward from clicking on it.” Now, that is no longer the case.

Google senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra detailed the new features in a post on the Google Blog:

In June, we launched the +1 button for websites, making it easier to recommend content across the Web. In July, the +1 button crossed 2 billion daily views, and we also made it a lot faster. Today, the +1 button appears on more than 1 million sites, with more than 4 billion daily views, and we’re extremely excited about this momentum.

Clicking the +1 button is a great way to highlight content for others when they search on Google. But sometimes you want to start a conversation right away — at least with certain groups of friends. So we’re making it easy for Google+ users to share Web pages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new “Share on Google+” option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share.

When you share content from the +1 button, you’ll notice that we automatically include a link, an image, and a description in the share box. We call these “+Snippets,” and they’re a great way to jump-start conversations with the people you care about.

Of course, publishers can benefit from +Snippets, as well. With just a few changes to their Web pages, publishers can actually customize their +Snippets and encourage more sharing of their content on Google+. More details are available on the Google Webmaster blog.

We’re rolling out sharing and +Snippets globally over the next week, but if you’d like to try the new +1 button now, you can join our Google+ Platform Preview. Once you’re part of the preview, just visit a site with the +1 button (like Rotten Tomatoes) and +1 the page.