Planet GOOG

Google Pretends It’s Facebook, Launches a Neutral Share Button Minus the +1

Aw, GOOG thinks you care about its social network.

screen shot 2012 04 25 at 12 54 57 pm Google Pretends Its Facebook, Launches a Neutral Share Button Minus the +1Yesterday, Google launched another salvo in the attempt to make itself as relevant for social sharing as Facebook. Rather than use Google’s existing “+1″ button, which lets you automatically share content to your Google+ profile and publicly +1 something in Google results, the new “Google+” button lets you share without the implicit endorsement of a plus sign. It solves the problem of sharing something without indicating your approval.

But here’s the problem with that problem. It assumes you care–at all, in any way shape or form–about what shows up on Google+ or Google’s social search. Sure, Facebook users have been asking for an alternative to “like” or “recommend,” because they use Facebook. The only time we hit the Google+ share button is when it’s something too menial to share on Facebook. In other words, it’s not worth bugging your friends over, but you wouldn’t mind spamming the South Asian strangers who for some reason decided to put you in a circle (hello, Kuala Lumpur!) or for a little icon of your face to show up in the search results.

Other folks we know are more discerning:

TechCrunch breaks down the difference between the two buttons:

“The G+ Share button and +1 button are almost identical so let’s clear up how they work. One-click the +1 button and a public recommendation for the page shows up in search results for it, and it appears in the +1s section of your G+ profile. Add a comment or click Share and select an audience when you +1 something and a full story will appear in the G+ news feeds of those you shared to who’ve circled you as well.

Meanwhile, the Share button isn’t public by default. It requires an initial click to bring up the share prompt and comment box, and a second click to share that Page to the G+ feed. So really, the +1 button is more versatile and powerful, but also public and I bet lots of people one-clicked it thinking they were sharing to their feed as if they clicked a Like button.”

Wait, so this fancy new button makes us click twice just to spam strangers? Google+ button = -100.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com