Everybody likes "Like." Quick on the heels of the massive popularity boom of Facebook’s “Like” button, Twitter and Google are releasing their own third-party buttons to let users give another kind of thumbs-up to online media.
Twitter’s new “follow” button will appear next to the name of a Twitter user (plus their handle and number of followers)—for instance, a Web article’s author—allowing readers to follow that person’s Twitter feed with just a click. “People who follow your account are much more likely to retweet and engage with your tweets, and to repeatedly visit your website,” explains Twitter. Fifty sites, including the Huffington Post and Wall Street Journal, already display the “follow” button.
Google’s +1 button first appeared unofficially in March (only 2 percent of English-language results in the U.S. actually displayed it), but after a partner of the search engine accidentally leaked the feature’s unveiling this week, Google had to move the launch forward. The button will let users recommend sites as well as share them with friends.