Google Goes After Facebook's 'Like' Button, Ties +1 to Google+

In a week that saw Facebook add some rather Google+-esque features, Google also basically added a "like" button to Google+ by integrating the +1 button into its nascent social network.

Going forward, Google will tie the +1 button to Google+. If you click the +1 button, there will be a new option to share that content on Google+, which will also allow you to comment, choose a circle, and share.

"Clicking the +1 button is a great way to highlight content for others when they search on Google," Google's engineering chief, Vic Gundotra, said in a blog post. "But sometimes you want to start a conversation right away—at least with certain groups of friends."

On the business front, Google is also adding the option for publishers to customize what shows up when users click the +1 button. That info—usually a link, an image, and description—is known as a +Snippet and now the feature "let[s] you put your best face forward by customizing exactly what appears when your content is shared," Google wrote on its webmaster blog. "For example, if you're running a movie review site, you might want visitors to share posts containing the title, movie poster, and a brief synopsis."

The Google+ sharing and +Snippet customization will roll out globally in the next week, but those who want to try the +1 button can join the Google+ Platform Preview. "Once you're part of the Preview, just visit a site with the +1 button (like Rotten Tomatoes) and +1 the page," Gundotra wrote.

Yesterday, meanwhile, Facebook unveiled some updates that are intended to make it easier for users to choose the people with whom they share content. Going forward, users can select specific people, or groups of people, who will see particular content, much like the Google+ circles model. Facebook will also phase out its standalone "Places" location app for smartphones in favor of a platform-wide location option built into the site.

Facebook and Google also recently went head-to-head on gaming. Google fired the first salvo, adding a dozen games to Google+ earlier this month, but Facebook fired right back with new features that expanded its own existing brand of social gameplay.


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