Google's +1 button finally becomes useful for sharing content on the web

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The Independent Tech

Since launching in June Google’s +1 button has been integrated on more than a million sites around the web and garners more than 4 billion views per day, but up until now there has been little incentive for users to click on Google’s answer to the Facebook “Like” button.

Google has decided to make the +1 button more useful by adding several new features that will appeal to Google+ users and and web publishers alike.

The +1 button has been given “sharing” and “+snippets” functionality, meaning that users can easily comment on, share and post about web content they “+1” with their Google+ circles.

“Clicking the +1 button is a great way to highlight content for others when they search on Google,” explained Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra. “But sometimes you want to start a conversation right away - at least with certain groups of friends. So beginning today, we're making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new "Share on Google+" option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share.”

Sharing content on Google+ with the +1 button will automatically create a “+snippet” - a link to the web content, an image and a short description - that can be posted in a user’s Google+ sharebox, explained Gundotra.

While Google claims its +1 buttons are getting more than 4 billion daily views on sites around the web it still trails behind Facebook and its popular “Like” button.

According to Google’s recently released View Ad Planner Top 1000 most visited sites on the web list for June, Facebook is the most visited site in the world with 870 million unique visitors and one trillion page views for the month. Twitter ranks 14th on the list with 160 million unique visitors and 5.9 billion page views.

A global roll-out of Google’s +1 sharing and +snippets will take place over the next week, but impatient users can sign up to the Google+ Platform Preview to get early access to the features.

“Once you're part of the Preview, just visit a site with the +1 button (like Rotten Tomatoes) and +1 the page” to start sharing, said Gudotra.

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