Rewired +1 button on third-party websites lets users share site content with Google+ Circles.

Thomas Claburn, Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

August 24, 2011

3 Min Read

10 Essential Google+ Tips

10 Essential Google+ Tips

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Google has linked its +1 button on third-party websites to Google+, enabling button users to easily share content through the social network launched by the company in late June.

Modeled after Facebook's "Like" button, Google's +1 button is a social Web widget for promoting user engagement and generating audience data for website publishers. Introduced on Google websites in March and offered to third-party sites two months ago, the +1 button has gone from being served 2.3 billion times a day in mid-July to over 4 billion times a day presently.

Vic Gundotra, Google SVP of engineering, on Wednesday said in a blog post that Google+ users can now click on +1 buttons and share Web page content directly with their Google+ Circles. What's more, Google has added what it is calling "+snippets" to enhance +1 button sharing with images and descriptive text.

When used in conjunction with Google+, the +1 button will call up a +snippet--a link, image, and description--that will get shared among the user's chosen friends, along with any added commentary. These +snippets make sharing a more graphically rich experience and are thus likely to generate better click-through rates for publishers.

The concept is similar to Facebook news feed link sharing, except that +snippets are not editable. On Facebook, the user can alter the headline and body text description associated with the shared link.

Editing can be useful because publishers often append a website name or other information to headline text, trading readability for self-promotion. Editing that content prior to sharing often results in a more comprehensible and appealing news feed post.

With +snippets, the user is forced to share the name, image, and description elements as coded by the publisher. However, this may be less of an issue if Google encourages publishers to fill in descriptive metadata fields accurately, without extraneous promotional text.

In a post to Google's webmaster blog, group product manager Daniel Dulitz notes that the updated +1 button code also allows inline annotations--the presentation of pictures of Google+ friends--on pages that have implemented the +1 button.

Google is making these new features available to those who have chosen to participate in the Google+ platform preview. The company plans to make the features available for everyone on Google+ over the next week or so.

Facebook, perhaps not coincidentally, is reportedly working to enhance its Like button.

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About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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