Monday, June 6, 2011

Google's attempt to be more social with the +1 button - The Pros and Cons

As many of you may have noticed, a strange new button appeared in your blog's sharing bar - the new Google +1 button!

What in the world is this?
This is Google's attempt to be more social and to tune in to the social media network. It's kind of like another version of the Facebook "Like" button. It allows you to give the thumbs up for content and whatever you +1'd will show up on your Google account, (which can be made public or private). In other words, a sharing network where you can see what your friends +1'd.

Since it's unexpected early launch in March, the +1 button has appeared in blogger and been imported to other non-Google blogging sites (like Mashable) through embedded coding. The button itself is in full function, but other features such as +1 for Google search engine is yet in place.

Many people take no interest yet in this new gadget, since many of Google's recent attempts such as Buzz have slowly gone into the dark. A few concerns seem to arise:

- How is it different from all the other recommendation buttons such as the Facebook "Like" or the Tweet counts?

- Why bother going through all that to share content while we are trying to keep up with the gazillion other social media tools such as Twitter and Tumblr?

Here's some pros and cons I see so far:


1.) It's overwhelming my buttons! 
- It adds to the gazillion buttons there are already in the share/recommend bar in every blog. It's not that we're lazy, but when there are 5 buttons all on the same page, Tweet, Like, E-mail, Reblog, Buzz, are you really going to click ALL OF THEM? Personally, I'd stick with one, or at most two.

2.) It doesn't show you who +1'd your content 
- I'm not sure if Google doesn't have it up and running yet or just doesn't intend to have this function at all, but it makes me anxious. It's the same concept as re-tweeting- when you get a retweet, it's nice to know who did and thank them/return the favor.

1.) It integrates with the Google search engine 
- This is something the Facebook like button has yet to do. The audience will be so much larger since it's not restricted to friends. I'm guessing this will intervene with the search engine rankings. If this is the case, I'm sure people will start gaming the system but that's a different story I'll blog about when +1 is in full throttle.

2.) It has elaborate analytics (or so I read online saying that it will...) - 
I'm not sure how this works if indeed they aren't going to show you who +1'd you. But, if everything is in place, the analytics would provide a pretty decent analytics of who likes and recommend your content for targeting your audience.

With this said, I'm anxious to see where the +1 button will take us. Give it a try, wait a little, maybe it'll be the next biggest thing!


  1. The way it works is similar to Facebook’s Like button with an addition of boosting up your Google ranking. However, it does not seem to work on Safari browsers. When I tried to view it on an Ipad or Iphone it only shows a text that says “Google”

    May be you can add this as a Con until they fix this if they are intending to do so.

  2. Thanks Ramcel. I just found this comment =]. I'll make sure to put that in my next post about +1!