There has been a lot of buzz recently about the experimental addition to Google called “+1.” In essence, +1 is a button that appears in your search results allowing you to let the world know you “like” that link.
Some people are saying that Google’s latest foray into the social space is sure to unseat the 800lb gorilla, Facebook. Not so fast. Google has tried social in the past (Wave & Buzz) with mixed results and while I think +1 has some great potential, it has to fix a few things first.
The main one is how you find the results. Currently, the item’s that you have +1’ed only appear on your personal Google Profile page – who actually goes to those? Not many. Once these profile pages are more widely adopted, it will be more useful but the idea of a +1 is still kludgy. Facebook’s graphical avatars for your “likes” is clearly the way to go. Get them visual and get them out front where you don’t have to search.
So how do you become one of the “cool kids” and add a +1 tab to your profile that nobody sees?
To get started, you need to enable the +1 button experimental feature in your Google Profile. By default, +1 button will not visible to every Google Profile user. However, you can enable it by opening the Google Experimental page to activate +1 share button feature for your Google Profile. Then, click the “Join the Experiment” button for +1 button listing at the top right. This will enable +1 button feature for your Google Profile.
Now all you do is search. You will notice a grayed out +1 icon next to links. Click on them and they light up and also are listed on your +1 tab of your profile. Simple.
As I said, it has great potential. It’s just not quite there yet.