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Google Finally Rolling Out Social Feature, +1

Google has finally rolled out its previously-rumored social feature called "+1" (link), although many users may not see the addition for days.

Prior reports indicated that "+1" would arrive in the form of a blue button located on the revamped menu bar stretched across Google's applications. But instead, the new social button will now appear alongside search results and later on external web pages (like the current Facebook and Twitter buttons), in essence serving as a makeshift stamp of approval for things surfers come across while trolling the Internet.

"Say, for example, you’re planning a winter trip to Tahoe, Calif," explains Google product manager Rob Spiro. "When you do a search, you may now see a +1 from your slalom-skiing aunt next to the result for a lodge in the area. Or if you’re looking for a new pasta recipe, we’ll show you +1’s from your culinary genius college roommate. And even if none of your friends are baristas or caffeine addicts, we may still show you how many people across the web have +1’d your local coffee shop."

In order for Google users to hit that magic button, they first need a public Google profile. This helps web surfers see who is recommending what (like developers recommending their own games), and also allows those with your email address to see your recommendations. All +1 scores are saved in a new tab stored in the Google profile (next to About, Buzz, etc), and can either be made private or exposed as a growing list for public viewing.

"The beauty of +1’s is their relevance—you get the right recommendations (because they come from people who matter to you), at the right time (when you are actually looking for information about that topic) and in the right format (your search results)," Spiro wrote.

He goes on to explain how Google determines which +1 recommendations it shows to users. "Like social search, we use many signals to identify the most useful recommendations, including things like the people you are already connected to through Google (your chat buddies and contacts, for example). Soon we may also incorporate other signals, such as your connections on sites like Twitter, to ensure your recommendations are as relevant as possible. If you want to know who you're connected to, and how, visit the “Social Circle and Content” section of the Google Dashboard."

For those who want to start the +1 sensation early, Google users must be signed into their account and then head to the experimental search site. The actual service will arrive in English to first, and then slowly roll out to other branches sometime thereafter. In the meantime, Google has provided a video to better explain what +1 means to Google users and how it will compete with Facebook's "Like" and other social buttons.

You'll never guess what I've already recommended.

  • ProDigit10
    showing everywhere except on my google.
  • fyasko
  • znegval
    I guess the news about how "Like it" was such a great tracking tool for Facebook got to Google.
  • bobusboy
    I hope there is a way to turn that feature off.
  • Another marketing tool for people to exploit.
  • randomizer
    goatsetungCan you also DISlike something? Otherwise it would seems to be mostly of a function of the number of visitors to the site.That would double the chance of abuse. You'd be able to hire companies to mass "dislike" your competitors.
  • back_by_demand
    Google roll out the 587th attempt to rip off Facebook and end in another Epic Fail.
    As stated on the Register earlier:-

    Google has been unable to pry all that oh-so-valuable user data from Facebook, so it has restored to building its own Facebook facsimile. Of course, it has tried this sort of thing before, most notably with Google Buzz, which just resulted in a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission that will see the company undergo regular privacy audits for the next twenty years.
  • ImagineTek
    If Google are trying to bloody the nose of Facebook with this they should think again, this won't even squeeze their pimple. I'm glad however that the Google Mega-Corp isn't dominant in all aspects of internet life, and like it of loathe it Facebook is now of a size where it's giving Google the heebie jeebies which is a healthy thing.
  • virtualban
    The facebook likes are still within facebook and being spread to a search engine is a big thing IMO. Google has a lot of potential in this. A faster startup with a partnership instead of competition with facebook could help them a lot, both of them. Facebook will realize this and go for it later. My guess is that google and facebook did not reach an agreement on the % they would share profit as main reason why it has not happened already. From the article, google is going to get twitter, which enforces my idea on the facebook-google partnership, reason why not already happened and reason why it will happen.
  • back_by_demand
    virtualbanThe facebook likes are still within facebook and being spread to a search engine is a big thing IMOIt is also pointless as they are trying to get you to "Like" something from the list of browser searches before you have actually opened the site and looked at it.

    Facebook "Likes" buttons don't just exist on Facebook, they also sit on the actual websites of other people. You go there, you look at it, you like what you see so you "Like".

    Asking people to "+1" from the browser search before they have actually opened up and looked at the website is presumptuous and desperate.

    This will go away quietly in less than 6 months.