Tomorrow, I have a meeting with my colleague Pete Coco@GVSU. We’ll be talking just a bit about the new Google +1 service. If you haven’t heard of it–and likely you haven’t, since it’s buried in Google Experimental Page–Google +1 is the equivalent, in some ways at least, of the now nearly ubiquitous Facebook “like” button.
Facebook wants to be the Web. It wants to be the main interface you use to access all online content. Its ingenious like button helps achieve this goal by letting your social circle become part of your outside-of-FB experience. If I like something on the web at large, I click the like button, and my value judgment is made known to all of my FB friends. Arguably, I trust the likes of my friends more than I trust a out-of-the-blue Google search.
Google, in the meantime, loses searchers and their potential Adsense revenues. If a social search is better than a random search, then Google clearly needs to develop a new application to rival the FB like. That, more or less, is what Google +1 promises. You need a Google account and need to enable the +1 button. Then for it to work, you should get your contacts to add +1 to their Google accounts.
When they do so, I should see their +1s by my search results whenever I use Google. If I understand things correctly, I will also be able to see the +1s when I’m on a non-Google site. I can also see lists of all of my friends’ recommendations and my own, so Google +1 stands to displace other social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us and Yourversion.
Looking forward to meeting Pete tomorrow and getting some ideas for using +1.
Update: Here is one idea, expressed in cartoon form, thanks to Toondoo.