Google has officially launched their own light-weight social interaction/recommendation feature: the +1 button. They describe the +1 button as shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.” The goal at this point is to enhance your search experience with recommendations from friends and to share those recommendations with the world.
Of course, the first inclination is for everyone to compare this with the Facebook Like button or Twitter Tweet button. Currently, Google’s +1 button only appears in your search results and Google explains exactly why this will be useful for you:
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).
Don’t confuse this with Google Social Search. Social Search enhances your search results by including links or updates posted from connections within your various social networks. With the +1 button, you’re getting more explicit recommendations from your friends rather than Google pulling in updates it believes to be relevant. A subtle difference, but important to keep in mind.
How does this tie into Google’s social strategy? It appears this is just another tool for Google to leverage in the future. The +1 button isn’t going to suddenly turn Google into a Facebook killer, but it will provide a more social experience across all Google properties. The +1 button website hints at plans for personalization across other sites on the web, including your own, but there are no details on this yet.
Google +1 will roll out slowly, but there is no need for you to wait. Just make sure you have your Google Profile setup and upgraded, then visit the experimental search site to turn it on. You’ll start seeing +1 buttons in your search results, along with the recommendations from your friends.
Check out the video below for more details and tell us what you think about +1 in the comments.