Google Launches New Social Tool '+1'

By Cindy Waxer March 31, 2011

Google hopes to give social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn a run for their money with its new “+1” (plus-1) service.

According to Google’s website, users should “click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1's can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.”

The only catch: you first need a public Google profile to use +1. Essentially, the tool helps people see who recommended a particular restaurant, concert, even recipe. When you create a profile, your recommendations are visible to anyone and your email connections can easily find them. Users’ +1 recommendations are stored in a new tab on the Google profile. +1s can also be kept private and used personally to manage your favorite web offerings.

Not everyone is singing the praises of Google’s latest feature. According to a review by Ian Paul of PC World: “To recommend a site you have to either click on the +1 button before you leave the search results page or remember to click back to your search results after you've checked out the site.”

This is very impractical and doesn't seem likely to gain much traction beyond early adopters. The beauty of Facebook's 'Like' button (or Digg buttons for that matter) is that it's right there on the page you're viewing. Google's +1 button is unlikely to become popular until it's sitting alongside the other Like, Digg, Reddit, and Tweet buttons currently available on blogs and Websites.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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